2 user 1 critic

Mujin rettô (1969)

A young man brought up in a nunnery escapes from the abusive nuns into the disconcerting outside world.



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »


Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Near a remote Buddhist monastery, a young man falls in love with his sister and gets her pregnant. After a monk finds out, the young man becomes an assistant to a master sculptor, only to proceed to complicate matters with his affairs.

Director: Akio Jissôji
Stars: Kotobuki Hananomoto, Akiji Kobayashi, Eiji Okada
Short | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A young man, haunted by his past, travels the land in search of the lyrics to a lullaby his mother used to sing to him.

Director: Shûji Terayama
Stars: Hiroshi Mikami, Takeshi Wakamatsu, Keiko Niitaka
Blind Beast (1969)
Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A blind sculpter and his mother kidnap a young model.

Director: Yasuzô Masumura
Stars: Eiji Funakoshi, Mako Midori, Noriko Sengoku
Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A young boys' coming of age tale set in a strange, carnivalesque village becomes the recreation of a memory that the director has twenty years later.

Director: Shûji Terayama
Stars: Kaoru Yachigusa, Keiko Niitaka, Masumi Harukawa
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Two interwoven stories. The first is a biography of anarchist Sakae Osugi which follows his relationship with three women in the 1920s. The second centers around two 1960s' students researching Osugi's theories.

Director: Yoshishige Yoshida
Stars: Mariko Okada, Toshiyuki Hosokawa, Yûko Kusunoki
Mandara (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Two student couples stumble upon a cult dedicated to promoting the primordial human state through rape and agriculture.

Director: Akio Jissôji
Stars: Shin Kishida, Kôji Shimizu, Hiroko Sakurai
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A Japanese father travels to China's Yunnan province in the place of his ailing son to film a famous folk-opera star.

Director: Yimou Zhang
Stars: Ken Takakura, Kiichi Nakai, Shinobu Terajima
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Myron Ort


Credited cast:
Kazuko Aoki
Jun Arai ...
Nun B
Ayuko Asakawa ...
Nun G
Ben Hiura
Machiko Itô ...
Nun C
Shin'ichi Iwata
Junjirô Kamijô
Misa Kanehira ...
Nun D
Miyako Kasai ...
Nun E
Yoshihiro Katô
Akira Kubo
Kazuyoshi Kushida ...
Katsunori Makabe
Masao Matsuba
Katsumi Muramatsu


A young man brought up in a nunnery escapes from the abusive nuns into the disconcerting outside world.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Fantasy





Release Date:

25 April 1969 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

The Desert Archipelago  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

See  »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Existentialism, Politics and Nuns & Guns
27 November 2015 | by (Croatia) – See all my reviews

Short review: This movie is notable for featuring a nun firing a machine gun to an American folk tune.

Long review: The Desert(ed) Archipelago is the first film directed by underground experimental film director Katsu Kanai, kicking off his loose "Smiling Milky Way Trilogy" (one of those trilogies that aren't actually trilogies), followed by Good-Bye (1971) and Kingdom (1971). This movie is 55 minutes long, follows a straight-forward plot which often makes way for surrealistic sketches, grotesque moments and avant- garde editing. In it, Kanai combines existentialism, his personal experiences growing up in post-war Japan, student protests, treatment of minorities, religion, stock images, American pop music, Hieronymous Bosch's paintings and political issues.

The main story follows a boy who escapes a convent of abusive nuns and ventures into the frightening outside world where the seasons have turned topsy-turvy. Kanai was a schoolboy when the war ended; everything he believed in turned out to be false and seeking for spiritual salvation, he discovered Albert Camus' existentialism. The story of a boy growing up as a religious person, only to escape into the scary unknown outside territory might be a reflection of this, but then again, who knows. This isn't really a movie that can be easily understood and demands a lot of knowledge of Japan's politics of the 1960s. This sadly makes the film a product of its time, but not an interesting or an inspiring one.

The imagery itself is surprisingly unnerving and messed up; from a child forming from the protagonist's back tumor and growing up on his back to a woman being raped and killed, only to give birth to several men connected with an umbilical cord. It all ends with a big city chase where the protagonist faces off against masked businessmen while a huge face levitates in the sky. I really don't know what to say about this movie.

0 of 0 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: