When Sokichi stops providing his long-time lover Kikuyo enough money to pay for the care of their three young children, Kikuyo leaves the children with Sokichi - and his very surprised and angry wife Oume - and disappears.
Harikomi is an atypical film noir with a social background. It tells the story of two detectives of Tokyo that, on the trail of a murderer, they have to faced with Sadako that will end up questioning their role of police officers and men.
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.
I just saw this movie for the first time last night at the Japanese Film Festival held in Melbourne. It was a re-mastered print and on the huge screen it was magnificent. The flashback scenes with the father and son set to the stunning musical score seemed like a completely different movie to what had preceded. But to me, final scenes are important - a skillful movie ending turns a good film into a great film. A bad ending turns an average to good film into a piece of rubbish. As far as Castle of Sand is concerned, what started out as an interesting detective story ended as a sweeping piece which left me walking out of the cinema thinking "That was incredible!!".
Japanese cinema rarely fails to impress me. I keep discovering more and more gems, usually from years gone by when I was too young to experience them at the time.
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