It’s in Queens
QTC Pick of the Week: Award-winning documentaries and classic Japanese films
One of the greatest actors and one of the greatest documentarians of all time are coming to Queens this week.
On Nov. 5, Japanese star Tatsuya Nakadai, who has been in more than 130 films, is at the Museum of the Moving Image, starting at 3:30 pm. The next day, Laura Poitras, whose resume includes a Pulitzer Prize, an Academy Award, and a MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant, presents three documentaries.
Nakadai has received the Japanese Order of Culture Award and the French Chevalier De L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres for his career achievements. He comes to the Kaufman Arts District to watch The Sword of Doom and then chat with the audience as part of a 50th anniversary celebration of this samurai standard.
A Jidaigeki(or period) film, The Sword of Doom features Nakadai as Ryunosuke Tsukue, a gifted-but-psychopathic sword fighter who kills without remorse. This evil character clashes with a virtuous rival and then descends into complete madness. In the final scene, he takes on dozens of gangsters in a burning house. The movie ends with a bloody, raging Tsukue lurching forward with his sword.
Meanwhile on Nov. 6, Poitras presents her post-9/11 work, starting at 2 pm. My Country, My Country, depicts Iraq in 2004, after Saddam Hussein has been toppled. The focus is on Ryadh, al-Adhadh, a physician and leading critic of the United States occupation who is also a Sunni politician. He cares for patients suffering physical and mental trauma while also dealing with the U.S. military, private security contractors, and United Nations officials.
At 4:30 pm, The Oath, which tells the intertwined stories of Abu Jandal, a Yemeni taxi driver who was once Osama bin Laden’s bodyguard, and Jandal’s brother-in-law, Salim Hamdan, a prisoner at Guantanamo Bay prison, screens. Then at 7 pm, Poitras introduces Citizenfour, her Academy Award-winning documentary that follows journalist Glenn Greenwald and her to a Hong Kong hotel room where whistleblower Edward Snowden hands over classified information on National Security Agency privacy invasions.
The Poitras trilogy is part of a two-month series entitled “Pushing the Envelope: A Decade of Documentary at the Cinema Eye Honors,” which highlights nonfiction film. To run until Dec. 13, a total of 25 documentaries are scheduled to show, and many of the filmmakers appear in person. Click here for a full list.
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Photo Credit: ©1966 Toho Co., Ltd.