A glimpse into the lives of the Young Yakuza

This is not the gun-blazing, finger-chopping type of Yakuza film that you might expect from film masters Beat Takeshi (北野 武) or Miike Takashi (三池 崇史). Young Yakuza is a documentary made by french director Jean-Pierre Limosin offering a rare opportunity to get a first-hand look at the personal, human side of yakuza life.

The film's stars are real-life yakuza Ishii Chiyozo, Ishii Hideyuki, yakuza apprentice Watanabe Naoki and other members of the Kumagai-gumi. While the film may consist largely of interviews and routine, day-to-day activities, Limosin allows his audience a chance to accompany the yakuza clan members, learn about their unique customs, and experience the complexities of their inter-personal relationships with each other, their families and themselves.

I have never heard about another film like this one and I am thoroughly impressed. If you would like to get some real perspective on the real lives of the yakuza, aside from just what you see in the movies and read about in books, I HIGHLY recommend this film. If you're in the Chicago area, the film is playing until 20-March at Facets - 1517 W. Fullerton. 773-281-9075

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