Against the backdrop of the Edo treasury devaluing currency and driving many into poverty, Hanzo Itami enforces the law without regard to status. He shows inadequate respect to the ... See full summary »
A journalist interviews an old woman who was forced into prostitution, just like many other Japanese women working in Asia outside of Japan during the first half of the 20th century. She worked in a Malaysian brothel called Sandakan 8.
Intelligent and angry, not confused and aggressive.
The story of an orphan girl, brought up in naive, rustic innocence by an elderly relative, who is suddenly exposed to the brutality, greed and deceptiveness of the outside world, when her grandmother dies.
Notwithstanding her healthy distrust of all strangers, which her upbringing instilled in her, it is not long before a cunning racketeer finds her weak point, that temptation which she cannot resist, that weakness, different as it may be, that each of us has, and brings her into his power.
What follows is a depiction of her cruel descent into the depths of moral decay, as she becomes a collaborator in a system of exploitation, unbridled lust, vanity, and greed, in which she and other victims are always the losers. But throughout this struggle, there remains in her the seed of defiance, and a spark of resistance, a stubborn obstinacy that will not give in. It is this conflict between fundamental principle and the expedience of giving in to material advantage that forms the core of the film. The irreconcilable contradiction between eternal values, and short term gratification.
A difficult and demanding film to watch, that is however very well made, intense, and memorable.
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