BAM/PFA (Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive) wrote:
In this film of the furusato genre, Isako Nakazato returns to the Tsugaru fishing village where she grew up, bringing with her Iwashiro, a gangster who has been marked for a hit. The two decide to start a new life together in the village, learning from the wisdom of the fishermen, the blind musicians and the other villagers who have made them welcome.
Koichi Saito has made several films on similar themes, in which his protagonists are outsiders, often criminals, seeking redemption through love and acceptance into a new community.
“Neo-feudalism at the heart of the ‘new’ urban, industrialized Japan has led some directors to reject the entire notion of ‘civilization’…. There is a shared feeling among such directors (as Saito, who considers himself a disciple of Imamura) that there are two Japans, one authentic and one inauthentic. The ‘true’ Japan remains close to its origins, to oneness with nature and to the instincts as opposed to the intellect….”
—Joan Mellen, “The Waves At Genji’s Door.”
• Directed by Koichi Saito. Written by Takehiro Nakashima and Koichi Saito. Photographed by Noritaka Sakamoto. Music by Chikuzan Takahashi. With Kyoko Enami, Akira Orita, Mieko Nakagawa, No Terada. (1973, 103 mins, 35mm, color, English titles, Print from Japan Society)