Released 1999


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Movie Summary

Nagisa Oshima
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Taboo, or Gohatto, is a 1999 Japanese film directed by Nagisa Oshima and starring Ryuhei Matsuda, Takeshi Kitano, and Tadanobu Asano. Set in 1865 during the Shogun era, young Kano Sozaburo is recruited to join the Shinsengumi, a samurai militia that enforces the shogunate ways against reformist forces. While he is an excellent swordsman, many men in the group become attracted to him for his feminine beauty. All of the sexual attention causes strife amongst the group of men competing for his affections. The leader of the group must then choose to intervene or let Kano figure the situation out on his own. Kano's own personality plays into his dilemma, as he willingly embraces his own fragility, which stands out amongst a group of strong, masculine men. Nominated for the Palme d'Or at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival, Taboo is the only film directed by Nagisa Oshima.

Metacritic Score

  • 90

    Los Angeles Times Kevin Thomas

    It takes a director with exceptional talent, skill and experience to explore ambiguity in all aspects of human nature and behavior, and Oshima has created a film of resilient, down...

  • 80

    The New York Times Stephen Holden

    Illustrates the underlying fear that when energies that should be directed toward warfare are diverted into passion, unity is impossible.

  • 70

    Variety Todd McCarthy

    Walks the line between conviction and camp with a not entirely steady step.

Takeshi Kitano

Takeshi Kitano

Captain Toshizo Hijikata

Tadanobu Asano

Tadanobu Asano

Samurai Hyozo Tashiro

Ryuhei Matsuda

Ryuhei Matsuda

Samurai Sozaburo Kano

Shinji Takeda

Shinji Takeda

Lieutenant Soji Okita

Yoichi Sai

Yoichi Sai

Commander Isami Kondo

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Foreign Language