IMDb > Profound Desires of the Gods (1968)

Profound Desires of the Gods (1968) More at IMDbPro »Kamigami no fukaki yokubô (original title)


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Keiji Hasebe (writer)
Shôhei Imamura (writer)
View company contact information for Profound Desires of the Gods on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
22 July 1970 (USA) See more »
An engineer from Tokyo arrives on a drought-ridden tropical island to drill a well to power a nearby sugar mill. He meets the inbred Futori family, hated by the locals for breaking religious customs. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
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User Reviews:
The dual nature of man See more (6 total) »


  (in credits order)
Rentarô Mikuni ... Nekichi Futori, the chained son
Chôichirô Kawarasaki ... Kametaro Futori, the backward son
Kazuo Kitamura ... Engineer Kariya
Hideko Okiyama ... Toriko Futori, the retarded daughter
Yasuko Matsui ... Uma Futori, the priestess daughter
Yoshi Katô ... Ritsugen Ryu
Hôsei Komatsu
Chikako Hosokawa
Chikage Ôgi
Jun Hamamura
Taiji Tonoyama
Susumu Mizushima
Yasuhiko Ishizu
Kiyoshi Tokugawa
Kazuhiko Hasegawa
Sen Hara ... Unari Ryu
Tatsu Nakamura
Kanjûrô Arashi ... Yamamori Futori, the patriarch

Directed by
Shôhei Imamura 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Keiji Hasebe  writer
Shôhei Imamura  writer

Produced by
Kazuhiko Hasegawa .... associate producer
Hiroshi Takano .... associate producer
Masanori Yamanoi .... producer
Minoru Yamashita .... associate producer
Original Music by
Toshirô Mayuzumi 
Cinematography by
Masao Tochizawa 
Film Editing by
Mutsuo Tanji 
Production Design by
Takeshi Ômura 
Makeup Department
Shigeru Takagi .... makeup artist
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Kazuhiko Hasegawa .... assistant director
Hirotomo Kuroshima .... assistant director
Kôji Okamoto .... assistant director
Kunio Takeshige .... assistant director
Sound Department
Kenichi Benitani .... sound
Yoshihiro Igaki .... sound recordist
Minoru Nobuoka .... sound recordist
Shôji Suzuki .... sound recordist
Camera and Electrical Department
Akira Itô .... lighting technician
Yasuo Iwaki .... gaffer
Shigeru Kawamoto .... assistant camera
Sadahiro Kimura .... lighting technician
Masaki Mizuno .... assistant camera
Katsurô Morishita .... lighting technician
Yasuyuki Okamoto .... assistant camera
Yutaka Tsuchiya .... still photographer
Shigeru Yamada .... lighting technician
Editorial Department
Atsumi Nakahara .... assistant editor
I. Okayasu .... assistant editor
Other crew
Ushiyuki Kamo .... title designer
Yukio Sekiya .... choreographer

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Kamigami no fukaki yokubô" - Japan (original title)
See more »
173 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

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7 out of 7 people found the following review useful.
The dual nature of man, 19 October 2010
Author: birthdaynoodle from garbanzo

A pantheistic society on a remote island in the Pacific find themselves in desperate need of fresh water. They invite Tokyo engineer Kariya to find the best sources of water in the area in order to pump it. As the story begins to unfold, Imamura lays out contrasting aspects of human nature by comparing Kariya's rational, scientific thought and the islanders' intuitive, spiritual vision of the world. (According to something said in one of the DVD's extra features, the island in the story was inspired by Okinawa, whose culture at the time still preserved some aboriginal characteristics and was different from most of Japan.)

Things begin to get more interesting when, to his utmost surprise, engineer Kariya is faced with some very primal needs of his own. At the same time, some of the island residents seem ready to put behind their adoration of the gods (sometimes dismissed as 'superstition') in order to concentrate on more practical matters. Others, like the Futori - an incestuous family regarded as beastly even by their neighbors' standards - prove to be particularly resistant to change.

I believe the Japanese director is addressing some of psychiatrist Carl Jung's ideas regarding the unconscious and man's innate need for myth. In his book, 'Man and His Symbols', Jung explains that in prehistoric times, man used to be completely intuitive and animalistic. Through a process of thousands of years, we've become more civilized and scientifically advanced. Yet, the primitive, emotional, non-rational aspect remains perfectly alive in our unconscious and cannot be fully tamed. This interior wilderness manifests itself in different ways, sometimes to our embarrassment, despite our best efforts to control it (a recurring theme in Imamura's films). Because our very existence and such a substantial part of who we are remain such a mystery to us, we use myth and a variety of symbols in an attempt to deal with these powerful, often puzzling, numinous forces within and without.

On a historical note, Imamura was allowed to work with a relatively large budget, but the film proved perhaps too strange and intellectual to please large crowds. This resulted in financial losses and the director vowed to never work with a large studio again.

Surreal and comical (although not outrageously so, like Imamura's last feature film, 'Warm Bridge Under the Red Bridge') 'Profound Desires of the Gods' leaves you with what could be described as a strong sense of psychic intensity.

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