A journalist interviews an old woman who was forced into prostitution, just like many other Japanese women working in Asia outside of Japan during the first half of the 20th century. She worked in a Malaysian brothel called Sandakan 8.
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Another stellar performance by the one and only Shima Iwashita, who plays Chieko. The movie tells the story of two artists who fall in love and marry. I was moved by how supportive and non-traditional the husband was considering the conventional constrictions of marriage in Japan at the time. We watch them grow as artists and as a married couple. Even more touching was the husband's devotion to Chieko during a crisis in their lives. Some of the films most memorable scenes are about the complexities of dealing with someone you love dealing with circumstances beyond anyone's control. Might be tempting to categorize it as a "chick flick," but because it is based on a true story, and because it is so sensitively done and beautifully filmed it transcends sentimentality. The way the director joined art and music in this film is especially lovely. The actor who plays Chieko's husband gives an excellent performance. I definitely recommend this film.
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