Kei Kumai, Japan's greatest director, is, sadly, virtually unknown in the United States. I have seen four of his films: Sandakan 8, Death Of A Tea Master, Shinobugawa, and Deep River. They are all amazing and wonderful, but to me the greatest is Shinobugawa. It is the story of a young man and a young woman who, despite suffering and tragedy, find their way to each other. Kumai tells the story with such sensitivity and intelligence and emotion that I was moved to the very depths of my soul. The music by Teizo Matsumura is perfect. It is a great tragedy that not one of Kei Kumai's movies is available on video. I can only hope that this great man's genius will soon be recognized and his films will be made available.
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