Set in the world’s largest Japanese diaspora of São Paulo, Brazil, Yakuza Princess follows Akemi (Masumi), an orphan who discovers she is heiress to half of the Yakuza crime syndicate. Forging an uneasy alliance with an amnesiac stranger (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) who believes an ancient sword binds their two fates, Akemi must find inside herself the strength and courage to fight against the other half of the syndicate, enemies she would never imagine would be after her.

Yakuza Princess is a thriller with a strong emotional drive powered by the coming of age of Akemi. The film showcases a very complex, broken family dynamic, with themes around identity and belonging, with the longing for (and rejection of) a father figure as pivot points around which her trajectory unfolds. It brings strong Japanese elements from the jidaigeki tradition of masters such as Mizoguchi or Kurosawa, the vibrant aesthetics of animes such as Akira and the violence derived from the new Ronin classics by Takashi Miike and Takeshi Kitano.

The Japanese neighborhood’s settings in São Paulo play a major role in the choreography of chases, fights and shootouts. Brazil’s own clique of the Yakuza, its corrupt police, and its own brand of domestic violence are present in the fringes of a very elaborate action canvas that is grounded in the character’s traits and lead their arcs. In a movie where no one is really who they seem to be, the story is told through reflections, transparencies and layers that veil and disguise the characters’ every move.

 

Tickets For Yakuza Princess Dec. 30 & Jan. 2 >>

 

yakuza princess