This movie relates the story of a young peasant girl who has to go work in a brothel to help her family in post war Japan. It is partly based on a true event that occurred in 1950, where the Kinkaku-ji temple in Kyoto was burned down by a 22-year-old novice monk (see wikipedia for details). What to say about this movie... Some good some bad. The acting is decent, if a bit excessively theatrical at times. The photography is very classical with beautiful compositions and interesting angles. The story explores two important society issues: forced prostitution and bullying. Unfortunately some inadequacies prevents it from reaching the heights of a masterpiece. One of the glaring issues my wife and I had was this odd picturing of a brothel as a pleasant place where all is well among all the girls and the well meaning Madame. It seems so far fetched, so unlikely, that I kept wondering if this director had ever visited such an establishment. Also, some of the comments regarding the girl made by her first customer seemed very strange and even abnormal to us. I can't reveal them here, but they surprised us greatly. On the other hand the purity of the love story and the drama brought about by the iniquity of society was quite touching. So, yes, I would say it's worth watching, just not as good as I was hoping for.
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