Japanese cinema’s most enduring genre continues to entertain and inspire audiences and filmmakers internationally. Whether chanbara (action-oriented sword-fight films) or the historical jidaigeki films, the genre focuses on the mythologized samurai warriors of the 12th to 16th centuries. Like American westerns, the samurai film celebrates tales of loyalty, revenge, romance, fighting prowess, and the decline of a traditional way of life. This eclectic selection—seven Japanese films and four Western reinterpretations—spans six decades of cinema history and reveals the eternal romance of the quest of the hero. Co-sponsored by the Portland Art Museum and presented in conjunction with the exhibition Samurai! Armor from the Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Collection, admission is free for exhibition ticket holders during museum gallery hours.