- Rated: Not Rated
- Run Time: 1 hours, 40 minutes
- Video: Color
- Released: August 13, 2002
- Originally Released: 2000
- Label: New Yorker Video
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Packaging: Keep Case
- Single Side - Dual Layer
- Aspect Ratio: Anamorphic Widescreen - 1.85
- Aspect Ratio: Letterbox - 1.85
- Additional Release Material:
- Trailers: Original Theatrical Trailer
- Interactive Features:
- Text/Photo Galleries:
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Premiere - 12/01/2000
"...A beautiful, droll meditation..."
Box Office - 11/01/2000
"...An intriguing study....Extremely striking. There is also a haunting electronic score from Ryuichi Sakamoto..."
Sight and Sound - 08/01/2001
"...[Oshima] hates nobody and, wonderfully served by cast and camera, loves the reticence of a story immaculately told..."
Total Film - 09/01/2001
"...The lyrical mood is reinforced by a strong score..."
Los Angeles Times - 11/17/2000
"...TABOO is one of Oshima's finest films....Oshima has created a film of resilient, downright tensile strength that ends on a satisfyingly ironic note..."
Widely regarded as the greatest living Japanese director as well as one of the film world's foremost hierophants of transgression, Nagisa Oshima returns from a long hiatus with a film worthy of his reputation. Set in 1865 during the waning days of the Tokugawa shogunate, it focuses on an exotic young male beauty, Kano (Ryuhei Matsuda), who has recently been recruited by the strict Shinsengumi samurai militia. He quickly becomes the lover of another recruit, Hyozo Tashiro (Tadanobu Asano), and, although homosexuality is officially verboten, Commander Kondo (Yoichi Sai) seems to have adopted a don't-ask don't-tell policy. He has little choice, since the teenage wraith soon becomes the prime object of desire for half the militia. Jealousy threatens to erode the company's morale as the samurai engage in kendo swordplay for a shard of attention from the impassive Kano. Captain Hijikata (Takeshi Kitano), the most humane and aware of the samurai, struggles to maintain discipline while fighting against his own attraction to the youth. TABOO is a fascinatingly ambiguous exploration of the uncontrollable force of sexuality in a highly repressive military environment. The ravishingly otherworldly art direction by Yoshinobu Nishioka and insistently minimal score by Ryuichi Sakamoto are particularly notable.
- Theatrical release: October 6, 2000
- Shooting location: Kyoto, Japan.
- This was Oshima's first film in 14 years, due, in part, to a stroke suffered by the 68-year old director.