Minato no Nihon musume

港の日本娘 - Minato no Nihon musume

Japanese girls at the harbor

DVD - 2009 | Japanese
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Set in the modernizing port town of Yokohama. Dora and Sunako are two best friends who become torn apart by jealousy and violent revenge. Tells of the humiliating downfall experienced by Sunako after jealousy drives her to commit a terrible crime.
Publisher: [Irvington, NY] : The Criterion Collection, [2009]
ISBN: 9781604651355
1604651350
9781604651379
1604651377
Branch Call Number: JAPANESE DVD MINATO
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (71 min.) : silent, black and white ; 4 3/4 in
Language Note: Silent film with Japanese intertitles and optional English subtitles
Alternative Title: Japanese girls at the harbor

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Nursebob
Dec 14, 2014

Hiroshi Shimizu’s silent melodrama features some wonderfully natural performances and (for the time) innovative camerawork as people fade in and out of existence and interactions are often framed by an open door or shadowed hallway. Foregoing the scene-chewing drama of many of his Hollywood contemporaries, Shimizu instead maintains a respectful distance from his characters bordering on detachment; we are allowed to view their pain but we cannot truly share in it. Furthermore, his use of seemingly innocuous background props to underscore a scene’s emotional impact is both clever and highly effective; a simple skein of yarn hints at infidelity, a cup and saucer left in the rain carry tragic overtones and a crude portrait floating in a ship’s wake signals both an ending and a beginning. Some may be put off by it’s rather formalized and episodic presentation, but I found Japanese Girls to be a captivating example of early Japanese cinema.

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