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Himatsuri (1985)

The villagers in a beautiful remote area of Japan are divided into the woodsmen, who worship the mountain goddess, and the fishermen, who worship the goddess of the sea. These traditions ... See full summary »

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8 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Kin'ya Kitaôji ...
Tatsuo
...
Kimiko
Norihei Miki ...
Yamakawa
Junko Miyashita ...
Sachiko, Tatsuo's wife
Ryota Nakamoto ...
Ryota
Aiko Morishita ...
Nursery school teacher
Rikiya Yasuoka ...
Toshio
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Baiken Jukkanji
Kenzo Kaneko ...
Kimiko's brother-in-law
Sachiko Matsushita ...
Tatsuo's Sister
Aoi Nakajima ...
Kimiko's sister
Ippei Souda
Kin Sugai ...
Tatsuo's Mother
Gôzô Sôma
Masako Yagi ...
Tatsuo's Sister
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Storyline

The villagers in a beautiful remote area of Japan are divided into the woodsmen, who worship the mountain goddess, and the fishermen, who worship the goddess of the sea. These traditions are threatened by a planned marine park. Tatsuo is a macho lumberjack who hunts boars and monkeys with the young Ryota. Tatsuo is married with two children, has four elder sisters, and is under pressure to sell the family land to the developers. When the fish pens are deliberately contaminated by oil, the fishermen suspect Tatsuo. Kimiko, an old girlfriend of Tatsuo, returns to the village to find money to pay off her debts. During the annual fire festival, Tatsuo becomes angry when the old traditions are not preserved. Written by Will Gilbert

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Release Date:

6 October 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Fire Festival  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Connections

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

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User Reviews

A brutal and ultimately pointless film
15 December 2004 | by (San Francisco) – See all my reviews

I borrowed "Himatsuri" from the local library, because I enjoy Japanese cinema, and because the subject matter was intriguing. An isolated fishing village is on the verge of modernization when a marine park is scheduled to be built there. Upon such a premise hangs many a G-rated film, so I was quite surprised to discover that the leading character in this film is a swaggering, boorish, violent man with few admirable traits. Although he (like all of his neighbors) is a Shinto, he is a tree-feller by trade, and has no compunctions against chopping down trees, shooting sacred monkeys, and committing other sacrileges against that nature-based religion. (Indeed, the film is all too willing to graphically depict violence against animals--and none of it is staged.)

The lead character isn't the only one who I found unappealing--the entire cast is quite unappealing. There are a few pointless and rather predictable subplots involving scheming women, lecherous old men and youths on motorcycles, but the main plot has a difficult time expressing itself clearly. The "messages" that humans are becoming separated from nature, that progress comes at a cost, and that crises can cause people to undergo a breakdown are nothing new to most viewers--especially Japanese viewers. And the natural-world issue is undermined by the star's mistreatment of nature. For Westerners, the Shinto element may be of interest. There are at least two good things about Himatsuri: the scenery--much of which is breathtaking--and Toru Takemitsu's haunting music. Otherwise, it's a rather pointless and brutal 2 hour descent into one man's madness. I can't recommend it.


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