7.8/10
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Double Suicide (1969)

Shinjû: Ten no Amijima (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 11 February 1970 (USA)
A doomed love between a paper merchant and a courtesan.

Director:

Masahiro Shinoda
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7 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kichiemon Nakamura ... Jihei
Shima Iwashita ... Koharu / Osan
Shizue Kawarazaki Shizue Kawarazaki ... Osan's Mother
Tokie Hidari Tokie Hidari ... Osugi
Sumiko Hidaka Sumiko Hidaka ... Proprietress
Yûsuke Takita Yûsuke Takita ... Magoemon
Hôsei Komatsu Hôsei Komatsu ... Tahei
Takashi Sue Takashi Sue ... Store Owner
Masashi Makita Masashi Makita ... Guest
Makoto Akatsuka Makoto Akatsuka ... Sangorô
Unko Uehara Unko Uehara ... Otama
Shinji Tsuchiya Shinji Tsuchiya ... Kantarô
Kaori Tozawa Kaori Tozawa ... Osue
Yoshi Katô Yoshi Katô ... Gosaemon
Kamatari Fujiwara ... Denbei
Edit

Storyline

During feudal times in Osaka, Koharu, a courtesan, and Jihei, a married paper merchant, fall in love, they having met in he being one of her regular customers. Their passion for each other is all consuming, especially for Kihei who leaves the running of the paper store in the hands of his wife, Osan. At the beginning of each month - twenty-nine months thus far - Jihei writes a vow to Koharu to free her from her life so that they can be together. However, he doesn't have the money to pay her ransom, he spending whatever money he has in paying for her services. In the meantime, anyone can pay her ransom, she who would be his possession. Jihei and Koharu have vowed to commit suicide together so that they can be together for eternity if they cannot be together on Earth. Jihei and Koharu's journey is affected by several people: his brother, Magoemon, and Osan's parents, who want Jihei to to do right by Osan as her husband and father to their two young children; wealthy Tahei, who believes ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

11 February 1970 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Double Suicide See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #104. See more »

Connections

Featured in Music for the Movies: Tôru Takemitsu (1994) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Truly one-of-a-kind
19 May 2001 | by kaworu-3See all my reviews

"Double Suicide" is a bunraku puppet performance at its core, with perhaps the only difference being that actual humans play the roles of the puppets.

The puppet masters, their faces covered with thin black silk masks, move around props, rapidly change the minimal sets, never interfering with the plot or the characters, yet moving them forward and cooperating with them in a way that is not at all distracting.

The puppets themselves are finely crafted, and the characters that they play present a depth of humanity that is rare in all forms of staged entertainment (whether it be a movie, a play, or the like). Being puppets, however, the viewer is left feeling detached from them, even if there is a sense of humanity present that one can grasp. Oddly enough, that is a good thing in this case - it increases the sense of how the only thing that one could do when the tragic events unfold is to watch.

This is not a film for all tastes, obviously. But the same statement can apply to the bunraku puppet play that this movie is based on. This performance is pulled off with perfection, and I highly recommend it.

10 out of 10


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