A documentary fantasy. Penniless miners talk in passing about labor unions. A miner and his young son go to a village in Kyushu where the miner has been told he'll find work, but it's a ghost town, save for one woman. The miner leaves and is followed by a man in a white suit and white gloves. A murder takes place: faked footprints, bribery and intrigue, investigations, a frame-up, and a ghost who wants to know why meet in a story of realism and the surreal. A child mutely witnesses all. Does the truth count for anything in this world or in the next? Can everything be manipulated?Written by
This film is very difficult to find in the West. It's not on video and you'd probably have to be lucky and find it at a film festival or a revival house. It's the first collaboration between director Teshigahara, writer Kodo Abe, and composer Toru Takemitsu, who went on to make the more widely available WOMAN IN THE DUNES and FACE OF ANOTHER. It's not quite as strong as WitD but is on par with FoA. This is a satire about a deserted town who's inhabitants are ghosts swallowed up by corruption. Teshigahara's direction is solid and Takemitsu comes up with another appropriately dissonant score balancing tension and humor. It's worth seeing for anyone interested in the three principal collaborators, particularly since opportunities to see it are rare. Takemitsu in particular could almost single handedly make a movie worth watching.
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