Filmed on the virtually deserved Setonaikai archipelago in south-west Japan. The Naked Island tells the story of a small family unit and their subsistence as the only inhabitants of an arid, sun-baked island. Daily chores, captured as a series of cyclical events, result in a hypnotizing, moving, and beautiful film harkening back to the silent era.
Unique vision of Japan
- The Naked Island review by Jawbreaker
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You rated this film: 4
A candid take on the daily life of a peasant worker couple in Japan that centres on water. Living on a tiny island, farming its steep landscape, water soon becomes the focus of film. The couple make what seems to be constant trips to the shore to return with water. A film without much dialogue, this is about the suffering and a work ethic that hasn't changed since the earliest days of the Emperor. We do see glimpses of technology during trips to the mainland, but this could be a period film from any era in the past few hundred years. I really enjoyed this film, not only does it provide a glimpse of a distant life but also brought back memories of the desolate (but superb) Onibaba. Of course the lead actress later went on to star in that film.
- The Naked Island review by SH
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You rated this film: 5
The scene of the husband running as fast as he can to locate the doctor on the island are an artistic feat. A very moving film; I have been thinking about it since I watched it. In brief: thinking about politics, the family unit, the individual, community, love, severity and beauty of existence and of nature.
The special features on the DVD reveal interesting contextual notes: that Kaneto Shindo was prolific, not choosy about what genre (dare to say even quality) film he made using money from the popular films to finance his more artistic projects. This film was shot on a shoestring budget; it won the Grand Prize at the 1960 Moscow Film Festival.
Hghly recommend this for anyone interested in how we live our daily lives.