The movie

Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai

An African-American Mafia hit man who models himself after the samurai of old finds himself targeted for death by the mob.

Length: 116 min
Country: Germany, France, Japan, United States
Language spoken: English
Language subtitles: Dutch
Cast: Forest Whitaker, John Tormey, Cliff Gorman, Henry Silva, Isaach de Bankolé, Tricia Vessey, Victor Argo, Gene Ruffini, Richard Portnow, Camille Winbush, Dennis Liu, Frank Minucci, Frank Adonis, Damon Whitaker, RZA
Director: Jim Jarmusch
Release date: 1999

Description

Jim Jarmusch explored the boundaries of samurai film in late 1990s New York. The protagonist is the mysterious lonely hitman Ghost Dog (the rightfully acclaimed Forest Whitaker), who moves with an almost magical lightness. A stoic assassin, Ghost Dog is guided by the principles of the legendary Japanese samurai, which serve him well when the mob thwarts him after years of loyal service… Akira Kurosawa's famous samurai film “Rashomon” provides a foothold in Ghost Dogs' violent existence while the legendary Robby Müller (1940-2018), who was also director of photography for the Jarmusch films “Dead Man” (1995), “Down by Law” (1986) and “Mystery Train” (1989), provided the camera work for this east-meets-west burlesque. Upon release, RZA’s (producer and leader of Wu-Tang Clan) rock-solid soundtrack didn't get the attention it deserved. In the restored digital version (4K), the tracks can be heard again as they were intended.

‘Unlike Jean-Pierre Melville's “Le Samourai” or John Sturges's “The Magnificent Seven,” something distinctly whimsical is at work in this grafting of Eastern martial codes on to the gun-for-hire culture of the United States… The effect Jarmusch achieves is so enjoyable and distinctive, and it shows something individually and engagingly developed in its approach to cinema gangland.’—Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian