Yakuza is a term which originally stems from the world of gambling, but the word, literally meaning ‘eight-ninethree’, has other connotations. In Japan, more than 86,000 so-called yakuza are members of consortiums that are fronts for the mafia. The yakuza are led by dictatorial bosses and operate in a world with its own set of rules. In contemporary Japan, it is hard to find enough subservient and reliable disciples, who can be accepted into the clan after a one-year internship. ‘Young Yakuza’ follows one of them, a 20-year-old freeloader named Naoki, who interns with one of the leading consortiums: the Kumagai clan in Tokyo’s Shinagawa district. The French director Limosin depicts this extremely hierarchical organisation, led by a seemingly cold blooded mafia boss, from Naoki’s perspective. Limosin interweaves Naoki’s experiences with musical intermezzos of rapping contemporaries, but he cannot really capture the consortium’s illegal dealings - Japanese predecessors who tried before - did not live to tell the tale.
Jean-Pierre Limosin is a French director, actor, scriptwriter, editor. He encountered Alain Bergala, then critic at the ‘Cahiers du cinéma,’ at the end of the seventies. Together they set up a photography and video studio. In 1983 they co-directed a film, ‘Faux Fuyants’. Limosin then continued to direct features (‘Gardien de nuit’ in 1986, ‘The Other Night’ in 1988), before focusing on documentaries in the nineties, notably for the series ‘Cinéma de notre temps.’ In 2002, he directed ‘Novo’.
2007, 90', color, 35 mm
Céline Bozon, Julien Hirsch
Thierry Garrel, Hengameh Panahi
ARTE France, Celluloid Dreamstt