Cleveland International Film Festival } March 22 – April 1, 2023 } Playhouse Square


Year: 1982
Country: China/Japan
Run Time: 123 minutes


In commemoration of 10 years of reconciliation between China and Japan, THE GO MASTERS is the first joint production of these formerly hostile nations. Japanese director Junya Sato is known for his vivid portrayals of strongly committed outcasts of society. Besides directing many successful films he has been active in Japan's television industry. Duan Jishun is a prolific writer as well as a director with the Beijing Film Studio and a member of the China Filmmakers Association. The strategies used in the 3000-year-old, chess-like game of Go act as a fitting metaphor for the events depicted in THE GO MASTERS, spanning 32 years in the lives of Chinese Go master, Kuang (Sun Daolin) and Matsunami (Rentaro Mikuni), a Japanese Go master. The 2 masters meet at a match in Beijing in 1924. The match is interrupted as Kuang is arrested for defeating a vain Chinese general at the game. Matsunami intercedes and upon Kuang's release his is pursuaded to let his son, A-ming, join Matsunami in Japan to further his skills at Go. He falls in love with Matsunami's daughter but Japan and China have become bitter enemies and personal tragedy is known by the protagonists through revolution and war. In 1956, the aging Go masters again take up the match they had to abandon so many eventful years before.

"It's magnificent. . .beautifully photographed against breathtaking scenes of old China and old Japan. . .totally envelops the viewer in its strong emotional thrust. . .a triumph." -The Tribune, Oakland, Ca.

Li Hong-Zhou, Ge Kang-Tong, Fumio Konami

Masahiro Sato, Wang Zhi-Min

Shohei Ando, Luo De-An

Principal Cast
Sun Dao-Lin, Huang Zong-Ying, Liu Xin, Rentaro Mikuni

Donate >


Your donation helps fulfill our mission to promote artistically and culturally significant film arts through education and exhibition.

Sign up for our email newsletter

  • facebook
  • twitter
  • instagram
  • youtube
  • flickr
  • alexa
  • foursquare



We promise you, it will make a difference!

Give Today