One of our favorite films shot in Semboku City, which we recommend you to watch before you visit Kakunodate, is ''Twilight Samurai'' directed by Yoji Yamada. Here is the trailer.
Some important scenes were shot in the Samurai houses in Kakunodate. Kawarada-ke, The Kawarada Residence, for example, was used as a house where the lady played by Rie Miyazawa. Also, one of the last scene of the final duel was shot in this neighborhood. There you could still feel the essence of rural life from that Edo period. The film is a must-see to understand the sensibility of Samurais who lived in the subtle simplicity of rural life. It's simply a masterpiece.