The story of 16-year-old Riyo who journeys to Hawaii in 1918 to marry a man she has never met, except through photographs and letters they have exchanged. Hoping to escape a troubled past and to start anew, Riyo is bitterly disappointed upon her arrival: her husband is twice her age and Hawaii is not the paradise she expected. As Riyo comes to terms with her new home, she discovers a land full of hardship, struggle--and unexpected joy.Written by
Originally scheduled to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January 1994 but was withdrawn at the filmmakers' request and instead premiered the following year. See more »
[referring to Matsuji]
Do I have to be HIS age before I can afford a bride like her?
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A poignant and emotional portrayal of indentured servitude and arranged marriage in turn-of-the-century Hawaii.
Picture Bride paints a realistic and moving portrait of what it must have been like for Japanese men brought to Hawaii at the turn of the 19th Century to work in the sugar cane fields. Most came planning to return to their homeland, but few were ever able to do so. Equally movingly portrayed is the fate of Japanese women, some as young as fifteen or sixteen, who were sent as promised brides to men they knew only through photographs that often were 10 or 15-years out of date, or were of some other younger man. They too worked long hard hours in the fields, while fighting homesickness and to preserve their dignity.
Director Hatta's portrayal of one picture bride's courage and perseverance struggling to survive in a strange land and alien society under great physical duress, is, ultimately, inspirational and uplifting--a story of moral and cultural survival. There is a grandness and magnificence of sweep of character and landscape in Picture Bride that captures the alluring beauty as well as violent harshness of colonial Hawaii. This is a film that is emotionally, intellectually and artistically rewarding.
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