Chrysanthemum and the Guillotine, The
ZEZE Takahisa 瀬々敬久
Kiku to girochin


The story of a travelling troupe of female sumo wrestlers, intertwines with that of a clandestine anarchist organization in this highly entertaining period piece, set in the tumultuous years following the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923. Both groups strive for equality, but their respective methods – entertainment versus terrorism – couldn’t be more different.

In de tumultueuze jaren na de grote Kanto-aardbeving van 1923 reist een groep vrouwelijke sumoworstelaars door Japan. Hun bijzondere, waargebeurde geschiedenis wordt in deze zeer vermakelijke vertelling verweven met dat van een clandestine, anarchistische organisatie. Beide groepen strijden voor gelijkheden, maar de manier waarop – volksvermaak versus terrorisme – verschilt als dag en nacht.


Director’s bio & selected filmography


ZEZE Takahisa is an experimental film director, originally known in the 90s for his soft-porn pink films. He later made it into the mainstream with works such as The 8 Years Engagement. His 2003 film Moon Child was screened at the Cannes Film Festival and at the Philadelphia Film Festival, while Heaven’s Story (2011) won the FIPRESCI prize at the Berlin International Film Festival. 

1994 – The Dream of Garuda

2000 – Hysteric

2001 – Tokyo X Erotica

2003 – Moon Child

2010 – Heaven’s Story (CJ 2011)

2017 – The 8 Year Engagement