T.O.: Ghost Dog – The Way of the Samurai. Realização: Jim Jarmusch. Elenco: Forest Whitaker, John Tormey, Cliff Gorman, Frank Minucci, Henry Silva, Tricia Vessey, Richard Portnow, Victor Argo, Vince Viverito, Isaach De Bankolé, Camille Winbush. Nacionalidade: França / Alemanha / EUA / Japão, 1999.
Misturando a filosofia oriental, com a sabedoria hip-hop e o código de honra dos gansters, Jarmusch apresenta a história de um enigmático assassino a soldo, Ghost Dog (Whitaker).
Vítima de um espancamento, a vida de Ghost Dog foi salva por Louie (Tormey), membro de uma família da máfia. Em retibuição da sua ajuda, Ghost Dog transformou-se no seu “servidor”, fazendo alguns trabalhos sujos que devem ser resolvidos com discrição e profissionalismo. Até ao dia em que mata um traidor em frente à filha do chefe da família, Ray Vargo (Silva), e fica com a cabeça a prémio. As leis mudam e o predador torna-se a presa.
Ghost Dog vive no cimo de um prédio, rodeado de pombos, que usa como correio nas suas comunicações com Louie. As suas amizades reduzem-se a uma criança que conhece no jardim e a Raymond (Bankolé), um emigrante do Haiti que não fala inglês, mas com quem Ghost Dog tem um entendimento surreal.
A codunta de Ghost Dog é regida pelas regras orientais contidas no livro “Hagakure - The Book of the Samurai”, de Yamamoto Tsunetomo, um manual para guerreiros do século XXIII. Ghost Dog considera-se o “último de uma antiga tribo”, um samurai dos tempos modernos que carrega uma pistola com silenciador, mimetizando os movimentos longos e suaves da espada que deveria usar.
Ele medita, ele treina, e vive como uma sombra. Escolhe a música que ouve nos carros que rouba, escutando-a em silêncio como se fossem poemas haiku. A música de RZA (que actuou em “Coffee and Cigarettes”) mistura influências orientais com rap, ajudando a fazer a ponte entre estes dois mundos.
Jarmusch apresenta a vida de Ghost Dog entrecortada com citações do livro, ilustrando assim a concretização prática da teoria oriental. A calma filosófica de Jarmusch e a espantosa gravidade de Whitaker traduzem a paz interior de Ghost Dog, em claro contraste com a violência das suas acções. A sua é a tranquilidade de quem sabe qual a sua missão. Aceitando a inevitabilidade da morte, todos os aspectos da vida assumem a sua real importância.
HAGAKURE – THE BOOK OF THE SAMURAI, de Yamamoto Tsunetomo
“The Way of the Samurai is found in death. Meditation on inevitable death should be performed daily. Every day when one's body and mind are at peace, one should meditate upon being ripped apart by arrows, rifles, spears and swords, being carried away by surging waves, being thrown into the midst of a great fire, being struck by lightning, being shaken to death by a great earthquake, falling from thousand-foot cliffs, dying of disease or committing seppuku at the death of one's master. And every day without fail one should consider himself as dead.”
“It is bad when one thing becomes two. One should not look for anything else in the Way of the Samurai. It is the same for anything that is called a Way. If one understands things in this manner, he should be able to hear about all ways and be more and more in accord with his own.”
“If one were to say in a word what the condition of being a samurai is, its basis lies first in seriously devoting one's body and soul to his master.”
“It is a good viewpoint to see the world as a dream. When you have something like a nightmare, you will wake up and tell yourself that it was only a dream. It is said that the world we live in is not a bit different from this.”
“Among the maxims on Lord Naoshige's wall, there was this one: "Matters of great concern should be treated lightly." Master Ittei commented, "Matters of small concern should be treated seriously."”
“Even if one's head were to be suddenly cut off, he should be able to do one more action with certainty. With martial valor, if one becomes like a revengeful ghost and shows great determination, though his head is cut off, he should not die.”
“In the words of the ancients, one should make his decision within the space of seven breaths. It is a matter of being determined and having the spirit to break through to the other side.”
“There is something to be learned from a rainstorm. When meeting with a sudden shower, you try not to get wet and run quickly along the road. But doing such things as passing under the eaves of houses, you still get wet. When you are resolved from the beginning, you will not be perplexed, though you still get the same soaking. This understanding extends to everything.”
“Our bodies are given life from the midst of nothingness. Existing where there is nothing is the meaning of the phrase, "form is emptiness." That all things are provided for by nothingness is the meaning of the phrase, "Emptiness is form." One should not think that these are two separate things.”
“When one has made a decision to kill a person, even if it will be very difficult to succeed by advancing straight ahead, it will not do to think about doing it in a long, roundabout way. One's heart may slacken, he may miss his chance, and by and large there will be no success. The Way of the Samurai is one of immediacy, and it is best to dash in headlong.”
“It is said that what is called "the spirit of an age" is something to which one cannot return. That this spirit gradually dissipates is due to the world's coming to an end. In the same way, a single year does not have just spring or summer. A single day, too, is the same. For this reason, although one would like to change today's world back to the spirit of one hundred years or more ago, it cannot be done. Thus it is important to make the best out of every generation.”
“In the Kamigata area they have a sort of tiered lunchbox they use for a single day when flower viewing. Upon returning, they throw them away, trampling them underfoot. The end is important in all things.”