7.8/10
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Double Suicide (1969)

Shinjû: Ten no Amijima (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 11 February 1970 (USA)
A doomed love between a paper merchant and a courtesan.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Jihei
...
Koharu / Osan
Shizue Kawarazaki ...
Osan's mother
Tokie Hidari ...
Osugi
Sumiko Hidaka ...
Proprietress
Yûsuke Takita ...
Magoemon
Hôsei Komatsu ...
Tahei
Takashi Sue ...
Store owner
Masashi Makita ...
Guest
Makoto Akatsuka ...
Sangorô
Unko Uehara ...
Otama
Shinji Tsuchiya ...
Kantarô
Kaori Tozawa ...
Osue
Yoshi Katô ...
Gosaemon
...
Denbei
Edit

Storyline

In 18th Century in Japan, the paper merchant Jihei (Kichiemon Nakamura) falls in love for the courtesan Koharu (Shima Iwashita), but he can not afford to redeem her from her master and owner of the brothel, since he spent all his money in the place with Koharu. Jihei's wife Osan tries to keep her husband with his two children and asks Koharu to leave him. The two lovers make a pact of double suicide to escape from the rigid rules of the Japanese society of 1720 and stay together after death. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

11 February 1970 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Double Suicide  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Featured in Music for the Movies: Tôru Takemitsu (1994) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Truly one-of-a-kind
19 May 2001 | by See all my reviews

"Double Suicide" is a bunraku puppet performance at its core, with perhaps the only difference being that actual humans play the roles of the puppets.

The puppet masters, their faces covered with thin black silk masks, move around props, rapidly change the minimal sets, never interfering with the plot or the characters, yet moving them forward and cooperating with them in a way that is not at all distracting.

The puppets themselves are finely crafted, and the characters that they play present a depth of humanity that is rare in all forms of staged entertainment (whether it be a movie, a play, or the like). Being puppets, however, the viewer is left feeling detached from them, even if there is a sense of humanity present that one can grasp. Oddly enough, that is a good thing in this case - it increases the sense of how the only thing that one could do when the tragic events unfold is to watch.

This is not a film for all tastes, obviously. But the same statement can apply to the bunraku puppet play that this movie is based on. This performance is pulled off with perfection, and I highly recommend it.

10 out of 10


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