With all the trash coming out of hollywood today, and asian cinema becoming more popular, and widely watched, I think it is important to look at older asian films, and this is truly a japanese film classic, and I highly recommend it.
This film is directed by Kenji Fukasaku, which if you know about films, should give you an indication of the quality of the film. It was previously released under the title of 'Battles Without Honour or Humanity'. It takes place in post WW2 Japan, and follows the story of yakuza clans battling for power. The story is similar to that of 'City of God', as both highlight the instability and brutality of gang wars. The story centres around the character played by Bunta Sugawara, and his journey through the yakuza way of life. He puts in a great performance, and commands such screen presence.The direction is raw, solid, and well-hendled by Fukasaku. With so many hollywood films today, relying on special effects and CGI to hold a film together, it is great to see how films used to be made.
Despite being made around thirty years ago, the film is still fresh, possibly because it is based on the true account given by a yakuza whilst in prison. Don't let the subtitles put you off, cause the story more than makes up for it. I would really recommend you to get this, and if you enjoy it, I would also suggest 'Street Mobster', also directed by Fukasaku, and starring Sugawara.