"Maihime" is more or less the slightly "cleaned up" autobiography of the rather self-conscious but none the less famous Japanese writer Mori Ogai during his stay in Berlin around the turn the 19th to 20th century. While studying medicine with the best of German professors at the request of Emperor Meiji, he falls in love with a German ballet dancer. While the ending of the movie is bad enough (not from a cinematographic point of view), reality seems to have been even worse and the movie follows the autobiographer's trend in making him seem a victim of circumstance rather more than might perhaps have been appropriate. Nevertheless, it gives an interesting insight to a foreigner's life in Imperial Berlin (and back then it probably did not get any more foreign than being Japanese). Just beware that this movie was actually made in the then still existent German Democratic Republic and is therefore not free of some rather surprising (considering the original writings) references to class struggle as well as a slight anti-war tint, which probably never crossed Mori Ogai's mind either. Interesting to watch for all those interested in Second Reich Germany or Japanese Literature. Perhaps (but not necessarily) a tad boring for everybody else.
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