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Recently seen movies #33

March 25, 2008

History of Postwar Japan as Told by a Bar Hostess (Japan, 1970) – 3/5

The title says it all (and what a great title it is). Imamura’s documentary depicts the postwar history of Japan through the experiences of a bar hostess. Those experieces don’t always come together with official history writing. The film is raw but endlessly interesting. News clips are used to great extent. The only distraction is the obvious question; how much of this is real? All? Most? Hard to say. Some of the footage is obviously staged but was that only to re-create the happenings that Imamura failed to capture on celluloid in the first place? To make the grainy 100 min interview piece slightly more cinematic? Or to intentionally distort the reality? Fascinating stuff, nevertheless.

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