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The story of a married silkworm merchant-turned-smuggler in 19th century France traveling to Japan for his town's supply of silkworms after a disease wipes out their African supply. During his stay in Japan, he becomes obsessed with the concubine of a local baron.

Director:

François Girard

Writers:

Alessandro Baricco (novel), François Girard (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
7 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sei Ashina ... The Girl
Michael Pitt ... Hervé Joncour
Tony Vogel ... Café Verdun Man #1
Toni Bertorelli Toni Bertorelli ... Verdun
Keira Knightley ... Hélène Joncour
Kenneth Welsh ... Mayor Joncour
Martha Burns ... Mme. Joncour
Alfred Molina ... Baldabiou
Michael Golding Michael Golding ... Clerk
Carlo Cecchi Carlo Cecchi ... Priest
Chiara Stampone Chiara Stampone ... Béatrice Berbek
Marc Fiorini ... M. Chabert
Alexander Brooks ... M. Loiseau (as Leslie Csuth)
Tôru Tezuka Tôru Tezuka ... Japanese Guide
Hiroya Morita Hiroya Morita ... Japanese Elder #1
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Storyline

A married silkworm smuggler, Herve Joncour, in 19th Century France who travels to Japan to collect his clandestine cargo. While there he spots a beautiful Japanese woman, the concubine of a local baron, with whom he becomes obsessed. Without speaking the same language, they communicate through letters until war intervenes. Their unrequited love persists however, and Herve's wife Helene begins to suspect. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Each step away from her... brings him closer. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality and nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Canada | France | Italy | UK | Japan

Language:

English | Japanese | Latin

Release Date:

21 September 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Retrato de amor See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$126,537, 16 September 2007, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,103,075, 15 November 2007

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$7,551,009, 8 June 2008
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

[first lines]
Hervé Joncour: Steaming water. Strange trees. Laughing children. Her skin... those eyes. But why should I tell you about it? Why now? Maybe I just need to tell someone about it. And that someone is you.
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User Reviews

 
An Emotionless and Shallow Romance and Miscast
23 March 2009 | by claudio_carvalhoSee all my reviews

In 1862, the son of the mayor of a French village, Hervé Joncour (Michael Pitt), is invited by the silk entrepreneur Baldabiou (Alfred Molina) to travel to Africa to bring healthy silkworm eggs for his factory. Hervé first marries his beloved bride Hélène Joncour (Keira Knightley) and then he travels in the long journey. He succeeds, makes fortune and is invited to travel again to trade silkworm eggs in a longer journey to Japan. He is received by the local baron in a secret spot and falls in love for his Chinese concubine. Hervé returns to Hélène, but remains obsessed in the concubine. When he has a chance, he returns to Japan to trade the eggs and stay with his unattainable love.

"Silk" is an emotionless romance with wonderful cinematography and locations and completely miscast. The expressionless baby face Michael Pitt is an insipid and weak actor and could never have the lead role. I am a great fan of Keira Knightley, but the make-up work is very poor and she does not look aged or ill in the end of the story. The situation exposed in the movie is quite ridiculous: Hervé is just-married and in deep love for Hélène; when he travels to Japan, a concubine only glances at him and touches him in the bath, and that is enough for him to become obsessed by the woman. I can not believe that a successful novel could be so shallow. My vote is six.

Title (Brazil): "Paixão Proibida" ("Forbidden Passion")


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