Based on the number one international bestselling novel by Alessandro Baricco, Silk is a sweeping romantic drama woven around a material of ethereal fragility.
Directed by acclaimed filmmaker François Girard (Thirty-Two Short Films About Glenn Gould, the Academy Award®-winning The Red Violin), Silk stars Michael Pitt (Last Days, The Dreamers, The Village), Keira Knightley (Pirates of the Caribbean, Pride & Prejudice), Alfred Molina (Spider-Man 2, Frida, The Hoax), and Koji Yakusho (Babel, Memoirs of a Geisha). The roguish French trader Baldabiou (Molina) holds between his fingers a veil woven from Japanese silk thread. It is like holding. . . nothing.
To continue his lucrative trade, Baldabiou decides to send the young military officer Herve Joncour (Pitt) on a perilous mission to Japan, separating him for months on end from Helene (Knightley), his lovely and devoted schoolteacher wife. The island that produced the finest silk in the world for thousands of years prior to the opening of the Suez Canal, Japan was forbidden to foreigners.
To reach this mysterious land, Herve will journey through Europe, first traveling by train from Vienna, through Moravia, and onto Kiev. There he will hire a caravan to cross the Russian steppes, 3,000 miles of ice and storm, and sail across the sea on a smuggler’s ship. He will be secreted from a Yamagata harbor into the island’s interior and be led, blindfolded, to a snow-covered village of thatch, wood, and bamboo, tucked into the snowy Fukushima Mountains.
It is here that Herve encounters the powerful and feared local baron, Hara Jubei (Yakusho), with whom he will trade for the precious silkworm eggs. And it is here, in a world unlike anything that Herve has experienced before, that he becomes entranced by the baron’s concubine, a deeply mysterious girl of intoxicating beauty. Without speaking one another’s language, together they share a doomed, obsessive love . . .
A film of painterly beauty and ravishing romance, Silk is an historically rapturous epic romance of East meets West.