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The story of a married silkworm merchant-turned-smuggler in 19th century France traveling to Japan for his town's supply of silkworms after a disease wipes out their African supply. During his stay in Japan, he becomes obsessed with the concubine of a local baron.



(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
7 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Tony Vogel ...
Café Verdun Man #1
Toni Bertorelli ...
Michael Golding ...
Carlo Cecchi ...
Chiara Stampone ...
M. Loiseau (as Leslie Csuth)
Toru Tezuka ...
Japanese Guide
Hiroya Morita ...
Japanese Elder #1


A married silkworm smuggler, Herve Joncour, in 19th Century France who travels to Japan to collect his clandestine cargo. While there he spots a beautiful Japanese woman, the concubine of a local baron, with whom he becomes obsessed. Without speaking the same language, they communicate through letters until war intervenes. Their unrequited love persists however, and Herve's wife Helene begins to suspect. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Come back, or I shall die. See more »


Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality and nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




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Release Date:

21 September 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Retrato de amor  »

Box Office


$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$126,537 (USA) (14 September 2007)


$1,101,711 (USA) (2 November 2007)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


[first lines]
Hervé Joncour: Steaming water. Strange trees. Laughing children. Her skin... those eyes. But why should I tell you about it? Why now? Maybe I just need to tell someone about it. And that someone is you.
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User Reviews

A meditation for the ears and the eyes.
3 May 2008 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

This movie will not please everyone, in fact certain people will probably hate it.

I loved it.

I loved the quiet melodic atmosphere it created.

I loved the narrative voice, which I normally hate.

I loved the many visual wonders, every room it seemed was made to be something more than a mere setting, it was art.

It drew me in, in made me want to visually experience every scene, it itself was a character in the story.

I loved the music, it was gentle and reflective. It also was a character in the story.

The acting was good, solid, and appropriate for the type of story.

The story it self was closed, revealing only what it needed to, provoking emotional reactions where it needed to.

This was not merely a story, not merely a tale to be told, rather it was a meditation for the ears, and for they eyes, wrapped in a story as old as life itself, of love, obsession, and wanting to have what we cannot, and forgetting about what we already have.

I believe this is a film to be watched, but understand it will not be liked by all, for me I am already counting the moments until I watch it again.

Such is the nature of some obsessions...

28 of 43 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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who has read the Book it was based on? nquintil
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