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Certificate: GP Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

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.

Director: Shôhei Imamura
Stars: Rentarô Mikuni, Chôichirô Kawarasaki, Kazuo Kitamura
Why Not? (1981)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Near the turbulent end of the Edo era, a man returning to Japan after exile in America searches for his wife and becomes swept up in the current of revolution in this incisive period drama from the great Shohei Imamura.

Director: Shôhei Imamura
Stars: Shigeru Izumiya, Kaori Momoi, Masao Kusakari
Dr. Akagi (1998)
Comedy | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

At the end of WWII, Japanese doctor Akagi searches for the cure for hepatitis in the prisoner-of-war camp.

Director: Shôhei Imamura
Stars: Akira Emoto, Kumiko Asô, Juro Kara
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A down-and-out businessman travels to a seaside town, where he meets a woman with unusual sexual powers.

Director: Shôhei Imamura
Stars: Kôji Yakusho, Misa Shimizu, Mitsuko Baishô
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Life of a pornographer who tries to stay under the radar of the mob. He has a mistress, a step-son, a step-daughter (whom he's attracted to) and a wife who believes her first husband was reincarnated as a restless carp.

Director: Shôhei Imamura
Stars: Shôichi Ozawa, Sumiko Sakamoto, Ganjirô Nakamura
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A housewife living under her tyrannical husband has her life stressfully turned upside down after getting raped by a burglar.

Director: Shôhei Imamura
Stars: Masumi Harukawa, Kô Nishimura, Shigeru Tsuyuguchi
Black Rain (1989)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The story of the aftermath of the Hiroshima bombing, based on Masuji Ibuse's novel.

Director: Shôhei Imamura
Stars: Yoshiko Tanaka, Kazuo Kitamura, Etsuko Ichihara
The Eel (1997)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A businessman kills his adulterous wife and is sent to prison. After the release, he opens a barbershop and meets new people, talking almost to no one except an eel he befriended while in prison.

Director: Shôhei Imamura
Stars: Kôji Yakusho, Misa Shimizu, Mitsuko Baishô
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Life story of a woman born in poverty trying to succeed. Through her many schemes, she faces her ups and downs in a cyclical nature, fueled mostly by self-interest.

Director: Shôhei Imamura
Stars: Emiko Aizawa, Setsuko Amamiya, Tomio Aoki
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Chronological exploits of Iwao Enokizu, a murderous thief on the lam.

Director: Shôhei Imamura
Stars: Ken Ogata, Rentarô Mikuni, Chôchô Miyako
Drama | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A young hoodlum decides to work for a criminal organization that is tearing itself apart.

Director: Shôhei Imamura
Stars: Hiroyuki Nagato, Jitsuko Yoshimura, Masao Mishima
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Being a faithful 'company man', Yoshikawa moves steadily ahead within the Toho corporation. But Kaji, his old friend, makes his way through the dark side of the social world, working for a ... See full summary »

Director: Shôhei Imamura
Stars: Hiroyuki Nagato, Kayo Matsuo, Takeshi Okimura
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ken Ogata ...
Iheiji Muraoka
Mitsuko Baishô ...
Shiho
Chun Hsiung Ko ...
Wang (as Chun-Hsiung Ko)
Norihei Miki ...
Asanaga
Hiroyuki Konishi ...
Uehara
Sanshô Shinsui ...
Chota
Tetta Sugimoto ...
Genkichi
Taiji Tonoyama ...
Shimada
Leonard Kuma ...
Shop owner
Fujio Tokita ...
Nishiyama
Minori Terada ...
Hisamitsu
Chôichirô Kawarasaki ...
Kunikura
Mami Kumagaya ...
Kino
Shino Ikenami ...
Tome
Maiko Kazama
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Storyline

Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

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Release Date:

5 September 1987 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

O Imperador dos Bordéis  »

Company Credits

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User Reviews

 
The Japanese Don Quixote
20 December 2007 | by (Portland, Oregon, United States) – See all my reviews

Imamura Shohei is not, perhaps, if one has seen films like Vengeance Is Mine, Intentions Of Murder, Insect Woman or Karayuki-San, the first choice one might imagine to have made such a richly comedic masterpiece of Japanese (hyper-)nationalist satire as this. Yet, the above films are not only helpful, but darn near essential viewing in order to grasp the full flavour of what Imamura has made out of his (and Ogata's) Quixote figure, the Holy Fool who is so blindly faithful to his nation and his 'great cause', and who commits deeds for them that should, if properly viewed, elicit all of profound horror, chaotic laughter and even tearful sympathetic empathy. For if one is unaware of the bitter truths of the Japanese woman of the Meiji era unwittingly sold into prostitution by their families, as documented in Karayuki-San, then an entire layer of the film is lost in the idea of a fictional man who could have, in Imamura's vision, founded such a system in the course of no less than a dream of the great glory of his country.

Yet, this is not to say that the film cannot be enjoyed without such a background. The satire is sharp, yet the comedy itself is broad and the arc of Ogata's Muraoka is one of the most complete and all-encompassingly humanist character portrayals in all Japanese film. Imamura is used to portraying men as scoundrels, as victimisers, murderers, petty thieves and calculating demons; Muraoka is all of these things and yet none of them. He cannot be defined by any single characteristic any more than any non-fictional being could; yet, he can stand alone or for the entirety of Japanese culture, as well as for any other great figure in Imamura's work (and, dare I say it, either male or female). The characters with whom he interacts, too, are at turns majestic and base, glorious and vainglorious, realistic and archetypal, and likewise acted just as well, from the indelible figure of Muraoka's Dulcinea, Shiho (a name that seems to bear a profound resemblance to Imamura's own), a part just as well-portrayed as Ogata's, to every third-rate would-be pimp and whore they come in contact (and, my heavens, there are a lot of them!) over the span of some forty-odd (very odd, indeed) years in the brothels, mansions, ships and huts of the film.

Whoever you are reading this, you are doing yourself a disservice in not seeing this film. This is, I have no doubt, one of the as-yet-undiscovered-masterpieces of world cinema, a testament to the ability of film to provide insights which no other media can provide as succinctly and as tellingly as a pristine performance within a perfect story told by an incomparable storyteller. In the twenty years since Zegen, I cannot think of a film so passionately yet simply told, so worthy of praise. It is an echo of Cervantes and of Welles, the author and greatest interpreted of the Don Quixote tale, and deserving of rank amongst them as great filmic literature.

—Marc-David Jacobs


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