Museum InfoMedia Room

DIA exterior at night
DIA exterior at night

Calling All Samurai Movie Fans—April at the Detroit Institute of Arts is for You - Enjoy classic samurai movies, including a rare silent film with live musical accompaniment

Monday, March 24, 2014

Contact: Pamela Marcil    313-833-7899 

(Detroit)—The Detroit Film Theatre (DFT) at the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) features a samurai movie smorgasbord in April, in conjunction with the hit exhibition Samurai: Beyond the Sword, on view through June 1. 

The samurai warrior is a revered figure in Japanese culture, and movies about the samurai have long been popular around the world. Most samurai films are set in the late 19th century, when warfare restarted after Japan’s mostly peaceful Edo period. The main characters are usually ronin, masterless, unemployed samurai who were social outcasts and often destitute. Epic displays of swordsmanship were the primary appeal of samurai films, but ronin were often depicted as tragic, solitary figures who hid their samurai swords until forced to use them. 

Saturday, April 5, 3 p.m.
The Sword of Doom (Japan/1965—directed by Kihachi Okamoto)
In the 1860s, the merciless behavior of an outcast samurai leaves him little choice other than to make his living as a paid assassin. His fearsome authority is challenged and his life placed in jeopardy when he makes an enemy of the only samurai who is his equal as a swordsman. In Japanese with English subtitles. Tickets are $8.50 and $6.50 for DIA members, seniors and students.

Saturday, April 12, 3 p.m.
13 Assassins (Japan/2009—directed by Takashi Miike) 
Set near the end of the feudal era, 13 Assassins is the story of a group of unemployed samurai recruited to bring down a sadistic lord and prevent him from ascending to the throne, which would plunge the country into a bitter, war-saturated future. In Japanese with English subtitles. Tickets are $8.50 and $6.50 for DIA members, seniors and students.

Friday, April 18, 7 p.m.
A Story of Floating Weeds (Japan/1934—directed by Yasujiro Ozu),
A Story of Floating Weeds is the deceptively simple tale of an aging, travelling actor who returns to a small town with his troupe where he reunites with his former lover and their illegitimate son. This does not sit well with his current mistress, who accompanies him, and the flood of repressed emotions takes a profound toll on all. Accompanied by Alex de Grassi, playing his original score, commissioned by the New York Guitar Festival, for this silent classic. Free admission.

Saturday, April 19, 3 p.m.
Yojimbo (Japan/1961—directed by Akira Kurosawa)
A masterless samurai wanders into a village terrorized by two warring factions. Seeing a way to turn the situation to his advantage, he secretly sells his services as a master sworsdsman to both sides, resulting in a tidal wave of apocalyptic swordplay and a satisfying conclusion. A darkly funny, deeply cynical adventure, Yojimbo (The Bodyguard) is a blend of violence and wit, remade by Sergio Leone as A Fistful of Dollars. In Japanese with English subtitles. Tickets are $8.50 and $6.50 for DIA members, seniors and students.

Hours and Admission
Museum hours are 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Tuesdays–Thursdays, 9 a.m.–10 p.m. Fridays, and 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. General admission (excludes ticketed exhibitions) is free for Wayne, Oakland and Macomb county residents and DIA members. For all others, $8 for adults, $6 for seniors ages 62+, $4 for ages 6–17. For membership information, call 313-833-7971.


The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), one of the premier art museums in the United States, is home to more than 60,000 works that comprise a multicultural survey of human creativity from ancient times through the 21st century. From the first Van Gogh painting to enter a U.S. museum (Self-Portrait, 1887), to Diego Rivera's world-renowned Detroit Industry murals (1932–33), the DIA’s collection is known for its quality, range and depth. The DIA’s mission is to create opportunities for all visitors to find personal meaning in art.

Programs are made possible with support from residents of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties.