Video Night

Rie and I watched the film "The Wife of Seishu Hanaoka" last night. It stars Takamine Hideko, an actress (on the left) who starred in most of director Naruse Mikio's films. I saw a lot of Naruse's films while at UC Berkeley, and I became a fan of Takamine. She's got a very distinctive voice, and her eyes are really expressive. Directed by Masumura Yasuzo, "The Wife of Seishu Hanaoka" is about the relationship between a wife of a doctor (Wakao Ayako) and his mother (Takamine). Set in the late-18th/early-19th century, the doctor (Ichikawa Raizo) is trying to develop anesthesia to perform operations on patients. He first experiments with the anesthesia on cats, but finally, when he needs a human subject, both the wife and mother offer to be his test patient. It was a bit hard to understand, but it seemed like both women wanted to prove their love for the doctor by sacrificing themselves.


In the end, one of them goes blind.