Deals with the intolerably hard life of a family of four, the only inhabitants of a very small Japanese island in the Setonaikai archipelago. Several times a day they row over to the neighboring island to fetch water for their miserable fields.Written by
Michael Jurich <email@example.com>
I saw this 30 years ago -- I walked out then in awe, and it's been on the top of my list ever since.
I came to the internet searching for information on this movie. Not only did I find it, but I found a comment that mirrored my own experience with the movie. I too saw it in my student days, nearly 30 years ago, in a Friday-night "cinema" series in the student union theater. I see it's listed as B&W; I remember it in color -- maybe colorized it in my head? No dialog, just music and environmental sound; gorgeous photography of the island, the sea, the brutally hard work ferrying water for the crops on the terraces. And we follow that work for a long long time; we go through impressed, to irritated (why don't they move to town for chrissake), to rage at being made to sit through this for so long, to numb resignation. So we're right where the characters are. Writhing in my seat, hoping it will come to an end. And then the brief scene that left me stunned, that made sense of all that lead up to it, two seconds of film that explain us in the universe. Like William, I've never met anyone else who's seen this movie. And I don't know if I could sit through it again. But I'm sure glad I did back then.
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