Aiki (2002)

Run Time - 119 min.  |   Countries - Japan  |  
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A young prizefighter is forced to come to terms with his new life after an accident leaves him a paraplegic in Japanese filmmaker Daisuke Tengan's 2002 film Aiki. Young boxer Taichi (Haruhiko Kato), after a successful night in the ring, is involved in a motorcycle accident which severely injures his back and spine. After a brief coma, Taichi discovers his legs have been rendered useless and he will have to spend the duration of his life in a wheelchair. With the news that his career is finished, Taichi descends into a deep depression and a bout of alcoholism that distances him from many of the important people in his life. By coincidence, Taichi views a aiki-jujitsu demonstration and takes an interest in beginning training in the ground-based martial art. As he learns from his new sensei (Ryo Ishibashi), Taichi begins to turn his life around -- which includes developing a romantic relationship with his new friend Samako (Ryo Ishibashi). Aiki was screened as part of the 2002 Venice Film Festival, as well as being selected for inclusion in a number of other festivals that year, including the Vancouver Film Festival and the Toronto Film Festival.