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Film Review: Retaliation (1968) by Yasuharu Hasebe

Leader of the new generation of Nikkatsu directors in the late 1960s, Yasuharu Hasebe came up with a number of mostly realistic films about Yakuza life, of which “Retaliation” is a prominent sample, despite featuring a protagonist from the “old guard”, Akira Kobayashi.

As the story begins, Jiro is just being released from prison. However, his future looks anything but ideal. Before even walking a few meters from the prison door, Hino, another yakuza, takes him to a nearby area and attacks him, seeking revenge for a friend Jiro killed. Hino’s girlfriend stops the fight, but he is not deterred from seeking revenge. Furthermore, as soon as Jiro visits his old boss, he is informed that his gang is practically non-existent, a fact that forces him to approach the powerful Hasama family to ask for a job. Out of respect for his former boss, Hasama offers him a task,

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