DIRECTOR: KAYO HATTA
CINEMATOGRAPHY: CLAUDIO ROCHA
MUSIC: MARK ADLER
CAST: Youki Kudoh, Akira Takayama, Tamlyn Tomita, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Toshiro Mifune
In Japan, right after the war, there were many women that had lost their husbands. And many of them were carted off to Hawaii, and other places, having been basically sold as brides for men who needed women. Hawaii brought in a lot of them, for many reasons, and the film makes one of them clear. And some worked, and some situations didn't, but one thing was sure. Most men that bought a bride, were lying about their ages and their looks in order to come up with an attractive woman.
The story in this film is basically that. The young woman is taken to Hawaii, but her new husband is much older than her, and not as attractive as the picture he had sent which was an older picture. She refuses all the advances, and connections, for a very long period of time, until her spirit is finally broken and she ends up giving in. She comes to like her man, who is not all bad, and is a good worker in the fields they all work in.
Although this film is slow, it is rather nice and colorful. There is a feeling of helplessness that we don't get away from the whole time, and it carries through the whole film. The husband tries to smooth things out by taking a day off work and taking his wife to a few places in the island that look like a bit of paradise, just to see if his wife can soften up some. She doesn't at first, but eventually she does come around. She's done what all the others have also done. The jobs they were basically hired for, which was to keep the men satisfied and bear them children.
This is a personal film done by Kayo Hatta, whose family origins seem to come through this type of story. His personal feeling keeps the film in one place, and pretty much in an oppressive place the whole time, which is akin to slavery. And it ends in the same way, although the girl has stayed in Hawaii and not returned to Japan as she had been wanting to through out the whole film.
A nice film, nothing too special, but good all around. It is thoroughly well written and figured out. It is filmed with a well defined reason, to make a point.
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