. . . on Tuesday, Aug. 8 at 6:15 pm (note early start time) for Masato Harada’s sweeping new epic, Sekigahara. The battle in a Gifu valley, fought on a single day in 1600, is considered the defining moment of Japan’s future. Lasting just six hours, with forces estimated to number 180,000 – 30,000 of whom did not survive its outcome brought an end to the centuries long Warring States period. Directing just his second jidaigeki period drama (after 2015’s Kakekomi) and adapting a best selling three volume novel, Harada populates Sekigahara with a teeming assortment of historic characters and enough political intrigue, Machiavellian maneuvering and exciting ninja action for an entire miniseries. But his focus is resolutely on the motives and strategies of the two men whose forces would meet for the final showdown: Mitsunari Ishida (Junichi Okada) and Ieyasu Tokugawa (Koji Yakusho). This is a powerful reinterpretation that completely overturns our conventional understanding, transforming their fateful conflict into a war between justice and political opportunism. The director and the film’s breakout star, Takehiro Hira, will be on hand for the Q&A session. (Japan, 2017; 149 minutes; Japanese with English subtitles)

– Karen Severns