Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters

Released 1985


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Movie Summary

Paul Schrader
Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters is a 1985 film set on the day that famed Japanese author Yukio Mishima (Ken Ogata) killed himself by ritual suicide after a failed coup d'etat. The movie is co-produced by Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas and was initially banned in Japan because of its depiction of Mishima as a homosexual. Through a series of flashbacks narrated by the writer, the movie tells the story of Mishima's life. It follows him through a childhood in which he was often ill to adulthood in which his narcissism drove him to extreme health and physical fitness. His growing disenchantment with the materialistic and amoral Japanese culture as an adult turned him towards a kind of extremist traditionalism. Eventually this would lead him to seek to replace the modern Japanese government with a new Emperor, and he began building an army around himself to that purpose. His fame continued to grow, but his failure to bring about the national reform he longed for would lead to this day.moreless

Metacritic Score

  • 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    The most unconventional biopic I've ever seen, and one of the best.

  • 100

    Chicago Tribune Gene Siskel

    One of the year`s boldest, most successful films, a film full of ideas that challenges us to examine how we conduct our lives, while at the same time dazzling us with extraordinary...

  • 100

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Jay Scott

    Can a film that raises more questions about its subject than it answers be considered a masterpiece? If it can, that film is Paul Schrader's innovative cinematic biography of the J...

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Gay & Lesbian, Biography, Military & War