When teacher Junpei Niki misses his last bus home after a day out collecting insects on a remote stretch of coast, he is invited by a local villager to take shelter in a young widow's ramshackle hut. Ignoring the fact that her home is at the bottom of a sandpit accessible only by rope ladder, he accepts this hospitality without realising he is the victim of a cruel trick. Trapped, he is forced into an uneasy life with this woman, sharing with her the Sisyphean task of shoveling the sand that threatens to engulf them.
- Woman of the Dunes review by Steve Mason
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You rated this film: 5
Sensual, unique allegory of itinerant entomologist who finds himself trapped with/by a placid, submissive woman who seems to have accepted her life, continually digging out the pit of sand which serves as her home. Intriguing, engaging, and ultimately heartbreaking.
The photography is unforgettable. The pacing is superb. The performance, in particular, of Kyoko Kishidi is a marvel.
Wonderful Japanese art film. Once seen, never forgotten.