DER SAMURAI is a German independent feature length thriller written and directed by Till Kleinert, photographed by Martin Hanslmayr and produced by Anna de Paoli for Schattenkante, starring Pit Bukowski as the Samurai. Principal photography will commence late August / September 2012.


JAKOB, a young policeman from a remote village in the middle of nowhere, finds his small world unhinged and shattered as one night an ominous, nameless stranger in a woman’s dress emerges from the forest and commences a wave of destruction, descending on the quiet, unsuspecting town like a supernova of irrational violence.

Both appalled and drawn by the frightening young man and the very notion of his self-proclaimed mission to liberate people (incidentally and disconcertingly by cutting off their heads), Jakob propels himself for a psychological roller coaster of reflection and revolt as he relentlessly pursues the SAMURAI through the night.  There is something about the mysterious offender that strikes a hidden chord within the young policeman – threatening to unlock and awaken his own innermost demons…

DER SAMURAI tells a moody and audacious tale of fear, seduction, loss of control and liberation – a cautionary tale, if you will, about the precarious relationship between the conscious and the unacknowledged and about the consequences that ensue if you don’t confront your inner monsters.  Complementing the more ‘straight’ and conservative Jakob, the androgynous Samurai appears to be his feral alter ego – a  threateningly wild and untamed doppelganger companion to Jakob’s compulsively dutiful self, an emblem of the raw, irrational, antisocial and sexual urges that lie repressed yet invincible within the young policeman. It is the uncomfortable, grating, yet at times almost romantic tension between those two seemingly adverse characters that fuels DER SAMURAI’s fiercely beating heart.

As the film peaks to it’s zenith, blood erupts in orgasmic geysers, heads tumble over asphalt and the village square is set ablaze by an all-consuming fire. The audience will find themselves shocked and exhilarated in equal measure by the small-scale apocalypse the Samurai has set forth in front and behind both Jakob’s and the audience’s eyes.


Set and shot in a reclusive, rural East German area close to the Polish border, DER SAMURAI will be rich in local flavour, yet at the same time its themes and aesthetics relate to a larger, archetypical pool of motifs. The dense dark forest locations and uncanny encounters with the dark side of the self originate from an abundant matrix of Grimm Fairy Tales, German Gothic Romanticism and Jungian psycho-analysis.

Although there is a long tradition of grim and psychological horror in German literature, sadly there are very few contemporary German filmmakers to mine it. Thus, DER SAMURAI also deviates from the  the muted, self-important pseudo-realism that has become the prevailing language of German Cinema today, going on to direct its own course on an adrenaline rush adventure that encounters the bizarre and the fantastically absurd.

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