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Film Studies 101
Feature
50 Movie Sibling Rivalries
The brothers and sisters who just can’t seem to get along

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Ran (1985)

Ran (1985)

The siblings: Taro (Akira Terao), Jiro (Jinpachi Nezu), and Saburo (Daisuke Ryû) of the once-mighty Ichimonji clan.

What puts them at odds? This Japanese reworking of King Lear sees Lord Hidetora Ichimonji decide to divide his kingdom among his three sons, a plan denounced by the youngest, Saburo, as foolishness.

Akira Kurosawa didn't precisely intend to re-imagine King Lear here - he was inspired by a real slice of Japanese history - but the results were much the same. After his father decides to divvy up his kingdom between his three sons, it turns out that youngest son Saburo was right to denounce it as a bad idea, and the kingdom soon dissolves into war and chaos. Taro’s wife uses the transfer of power to seek revenge for past wrongs by turning the brothers against their father and one another, and a lifetime of tyranny bites both the aging ruler and his sons in the ass. If you thought Shakespeare’s warring daughters got nasty, you ain’t seen nothing until these warlords take sibling rivalry to a bloody, massacre-filled new level.

Which sibling is your favourite?

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