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The American imperialists are at the door and intruding on Japan. To assess and train his troops the lord of the land announces a marathon through the land crisscrossing shores, forests and the mountain. The shogunate in Edo was not approving and views word of the contest with contempt and suspicion. Spies and moles are dispatched. One mole realizes the misunderstanding and is determined to stop lives and alliances being lost. He runs.

About the Director/Writer:

Born on 4th August 1960, in London, England, Bernard Rose began his career by making super 8 films at the age of 9. The BBC had a amateur movie competition which he won in 1975, causing his 3 minute film to air on the BBC. He later worked for Jim Henson on the last season of The Muppet Show, as a gofer, in the puppet workshop. He also worked for Jim Henson on The Dark Crystal in 1981. He attended The National Film and Television School in Beaconsfield, England, graduating in 1982 with a Master's in Filmmaking.

Cast & Crew:

Director: Bernard Rose

Screenwriters: Hiroshi Saito, Bernard Rose, Kikumi Yamagishi

Based on the novel:  “The Marathon Samurai: Five Tales of Japanʼs First Marathon”

by Akihiro Dobashi

Cast: Takeru Satoh, Nana Komatsu, Mirai Moriyama, Shota Sometani, Munetaka Aoki, Ryu Kohata, Yuta Koseki, and Danny Huston

Producer:  Jeremy Thomas, Toshiaki Nakazawa

Cinematographer: Takuro Ishizaka

Editor: Mako Kamitsuna
Composer: Philip Glass

Film info:

Section: Late Night Feature Competition

Premiere: Arizona Premiere

Year: 2019

Length: 104 minutes

Language: Japanese with English Subtitles

Country: Japan, United Kingdom

US Distributor: Well Go USA Entertainment

International Sales Agent: HanWay Films
Connect: Website, Twitter

Previous Festivals:

Edinburgh International Film Festival (Scotland)

New York Asian Film Festival – Opening Night

Japannual Japanese Film Festival Vienna (Austria)

Sitges Film Festival (Spain)


“A measured and intricate depiction of a timeless fight for honour and culture in ever-changing times. Well worth your time.” 

- Steven Neish, HeyUGuys

“An epic sword-slasher…. The thirty-six mile chase which is the foundation of the story is embellished with treachery, betrayal, outrageous cheating and numerous decapitations. It's undeniably enjoyable stuff.”                             

 - Wendy Ide, Screen International

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