Zaizen Goro may only be an assistant professor but he has already made a name for himself. His superior, however, does not approve of his attitude towards their profession, and is at odds ...
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Story 1 : "The Thirteenth Night". Seki turns up at her parents' house in the dead of night, where she breaks down and says she cannot continue to live with her husband, a rich man to whom ... See full summary »
Ishino has a pleasant life as a procurement manager in a good company, a husband with a loving wife and two kids, and a sugar daddy with a mistress. His affair jeopardizes everything when it becomes a murder suspect's only alibi.
The Wife of Seishû Hanaoka is set in feudal Japan. Its two central characters are based on the wife and mother of Japanese physician Seishû Hanaoka (1760-1835). Hanaoka developed a herbal ... See full summary »
Zaizen Goro may only be an assistant professor but he has already made a name for himself. His superior, however, does not approve of his attitude towards their profession, and is at odds over who to nominate as his successor. The selection of the new professor reveals a rich and complex political world inside Naniwa University.
A savage and surgically precise critique of Japanese political practice
It shouldn't take the viewer long to work out that the fictional Osakan University hospital at the centre of Satsuo Yamamoto's outstanding film is Japan in microcosm: with its corrupt and self-serving elite and its distrust of democracy, meritocracy and change. The nation and its people are the cancer ridden bodies, still trusting the God like authority of their doctors.
The film opens with real footage of a 30cm scalpel incision on an old man's stomach. The flesh is peeled back to reveal a soup of guts and innards. It is clear that the director is not going to hide anything from us in the next 150 minutes.
The fine ensemble cast ensures that the drama is real and the script keeps the compelling narrative to the fore. The film never feels didactic or preachy and only in the character of Dr Satomi (Takahiro Tamura) do we have any cypher of idealism.
Crisply shot and edited, the same source material was later used for an anodyne, apolitical and predictable TV drama.
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