by Jack Nilan            EMail :

Taboo (Gohatto) (1999)

Director: Nagisa Oshima

Jack   B

IMDB    6.8



   Taboo is a beautifully filmed movie, set at the end of the Shogun period in 1865. The movie is about Kano Sozaburo, who tries out for admittance to the Sinsengumi militia, a samurai enforcement group for the Shoganate.

   After the tryouts, Kano and another young man, Tashiro make the cut. In the Shinsengumi homosexuality seems to be an accepted practice, and the strikingly handsome Kano is soon the object of the affections of fellow students and superiors, including Tashiro and Commander Kondo.

   While homosexuality doesn't seem to be a taboo, the turmoil that is being created inside the group by Kano's presence is taboo. Soon people start to turn up dead as jealousy and desire permeate the militia. While Kano make look like a weak, effeminate pretty boy, we soon find out that he is anything but that.

   A very interesting and different look in to the world of the samurai. Also a good look at the end of the shogunate era and the end of the time of the samurai. Very well done and well worth seeing.