A journalist interviews an old woman who was forced into prostitution, just like many other Japanese women working in Asia outside of Japan during the first half of the 20th century. She worked in a Malaysian brothel called Sandakan 8.
The story takes place in feudal Japan, when any commerce with the rest of the world was strictly prohibited. An idealist suddenly appears in an isolated inn (the one that the title refers ... See full summary »
A young Japanese ballet dancer comes to Moscow to study at the Bolshoy Theater, works hard, gets a titular role in Gisele and falls in love with the local sculptor. Then she gets a news that will change evrything...
Three Japanese pilgrims arrive in India. Miss Naruse is looking for Otsu, a Catholic priest, her lover ten years before; after time in France and Israel, he has come to Benares where he ... See full summary »
Two young guys work in a plant that manufactures oshibori (those moist hand-towels found in some Japanese restaurants). Their weird bond is based on uncontrollable rage--something neither ... See full summary »
Kei Kumai, Japan's greatest director, is, sadly, virtually unknown in the United States. I have seen four of his films: Sandakan 8, Death Of A Tea Master, Shinobugawa, and Deep River. They are all amazing and wonderful, but to me the greatest is Shinobugawa. It is the story of a young man and a young woman who, despite suffering and tragedy, find their way to each other. Kumai tells the story with such sensitivity and intelligence and emotion that I was moved to the very depths of my soul. The music by Teizo Matsumura is perfect. It is a great tragedy that not one of Kei Kumai's movies is available on video. I can only hope that this great man's genius will soon be recognized and his films will be made available.
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