Shôhei Imamura – Nippon Sengoshi – Madamu onboro no Seikatsu AKA Postwar History of Japan as Told by a Bar Hostess (1970) (DVD)

The star of this documentary is a quintessential Imamura heroine: a hard-nosed, ruthless survivor, with a sense of loyalty and an earthy sense of humor. In this movie, she sits in a Tokyo bar, which she used to own, and tells the story of the various means she used to survive, beginning with the day the atom bomb fell. It is a history of compromises and hard deeds, though there are few outright betrayals.

Comment from Cinematheque Ontario:
“One of the most powerful and brilliant films dealing with the Second World War and its aftermath” (Joan Mellen). As the provocative title suggests, Imamura is scornful of “the official story.” He approaches history not as a record of great events, but as a story experienced and narrated by a common (if unusual) person: Madame Onboro, a woman who bought a bar in Yokusaka, the setting of Imamura’s PIGS AND BATTLESHIPS, and who married an American soldier. The hostess’s commentary about her life after the war is intercut with newsreel footage that often contradicts her account of the American Occupation, and with a portrait of her daughter who is following in her footsteps. A typical Imamura heroine in her earthy humour and ruthless self-interest, Madame Onboro is bigger than life. (Her brutally pragmatic comments about her American husband are hilarious.) When she shows signs of falling in love with Imamura, her interviewer, the film becomes, like A MAN VANISHES, a complex “semi-fiction.”

Rip Specs DVD Source: TV, DVD5
DVD Format: PAL
Program: Unknown

Menus: None
Video: Untouched
Audio: Untouched
DVD extras: None


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One comment

  1. You can download English subtitles from here:

    To deal with the class of the hardcoded Italian subtitles (which appear where the English .srt subtitles do), you can run the video and the subtitles in VLC and in the VLC subtitles menu, increase the text size and increase the opacity to 100%. This will block the Italian subtitles. Or you can change the color of the English subtitles.

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