Having watched Yamada Yoji's classic Home from the sea, I was keen to find more from this great director. YesAsia had a Hong Kong version box set of some of his films. The Village was included in this set. Searching IMDb I was amazed this film hasn't yet been discussed. The story is about a remote Japanese village who are offered the chance for a touring troupe to visit and perform. It's up to the local youth group, led by Takashi, a reluctant farmer to decide if it's worth having the troupe perform (it's expensive to put the show on!). The film has a documentary feel to it in the style of Altman's Nashville. The Village is wonderfully acted and despite being over 2 hours long is totally absorbing. The true message of the film is revealed at the end with wonderful edited sequences. If you like Twighlight Samurai, it's well worth seeking out some of Yamada Yoji's earlier work.
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