Mifune: The Last Samurai

  • Documentary
  • 2016
  • 80 Minutes
  • Japan
  • Language: English and Japanese

Toshiro Mifune (1920-1997) was the greatest actor from the Golden Age of Japanese Cinema and appeared in 170 films. His collaborations with Akira Kurosawa earned him twice the Best actor Prize at Venice Festival for YOJIMBO (1961) and RED BEARD (1965).
Just as John Ford and John Wayne elevated the American Western genre into breathtaking sagas exploring the human side of America’s violent expansion, Kurosawa and Mifune transformed the chanbara film, the period sword fighting movie, into bold narratives exploring individuality versus power and repression in Japanese society. Woven together with archival footages and interviews the film tells Mifune’s life and films experience as well as his pivotal role in the evolution of the samurai film.

Director: Steven Okazaki

Screenwriter: Steven Okazaki

Production Company: Creative associates, limited , farallon films



2016, Telluride Film Festival, United States

BFI London, United Kingdom

Hawaii International Film Festival

Denver International Film Festival

Cast and Crew

Screenwriter: Steven Okazaki

DOP / Camera: Tohru Hina, Yasuyuki Ishikawa

Editor: Steven Okazaki

Music: Jeffrey Wood

Sound: Tsuyoshi Abo

Producer: Toshiaki Nakazawa, Toichiro Shiraishi, Kensuke Zushi, Yukie Kito, Steven Okazaki, Taro Goto

Cast: Koji Yakusho, Yoshio Tsuchiya, Teruyo Nogami, Shiro Mifune, Hisao Kurosawa, Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Kyoko Kagawa, Yoko Tsukasa, Kaoru Yachigusa


Steven Okazaki

Born 1952. Began making films in 1976 and has directed countless documentary films, including DAYS OF WAITING, which won the 1991 Academy Award for Documentary Short Subject, and WHITE LIGHT/BLACK RAIN, which won a 2008 Emmy Award.
Other films include UNFINISHED BUSINESS (1985), which was nominated for an Academy Award, as well as THE MUSHROOM CLUB (2006), which was also nominated for an Academy Award.

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