Suzuki favourite Yumiko Nogawa gives perhaps her most ferocious performance in this scathing portrayal of Japanese militarism pre-WWII.
Sent with six other comfort women to service a garrison of some 1,000 men in Manchuria during the Sino-Japanese War, Nogawa’s Harumi is brutalized by a vicious lieutenant who wants her as his personal property.
A product of the time when he was still part of Nikkatsu and yet also clearly a renegade, is both a lacerating study of historical military and sexual insanity, and a monument to Suzuki’s own outsider bravado as a filmmaker and an relentless, ferocious commentator on his society.
Breaking momentarily free from his allotted role at the studio, Suzuki inverts the usual focus of the genre films he made, with the stoic, loner action heroes he was already aggressively disassembling, to look at a determined, unruly, but ultimately self-destructive heroine and make a sustained assault on the evils of Japan’s recent past.
Mieszka w Tiencin, chińskim mieście okupowanym przez Japończyków.
Kiedy mężczyzna, którego kocha, żeni się z inną kobietą, decyduje się zostać jūgun-ianfu - przyfrontową "pocieszycielką".
The Chinese dress his wounds and he is given the opportunity to withdraw with them; but as a Japanese soldier, he is bound by a code not to be captured at all, and only Harumi's intervention prevents him from killing himself.
Once again in the custody of the Japanese, Harumi is sent back to the brothel, and Mikami is to be court-martialed and executed in disgrace.
In later work, he pushed ever closer to abstraction and complete fragmentation of narrative.
During another attack on the outpost, he escapes with Harumi's aid, but instead of fleeing with her, he intends to blow himself up to clear his and his battalion's honor. In 1950, Tamura's story was made into a more romantic film, Escape at Dawn, co-written by Akira Kurosawa and directed by Senkichi Taniguchi.
Seijun Suzuki directed this hard-hitting account of a woman who volunteers to serve as a "comfort woman" (prostitute to the Japanese army) at the Manchurian front in 1937.
Abused and manipulated by the adjutant, she grows to hate the officer and seeks solace in Mikami's arms.
They carry on a clandestine affair, which is a dangerous breach of code for both of them.