Carmen From Kawachi | Chicago Reader

Carmen From Kawachi

89 minutes 1966

When Japan's Nikkatsu studio fired director Seijun Suzuki in 1967, the main reason was the increasingly avant-garde visual flourishes he brought to his low-budget productions. But the bosses were also annoyed by his progressive treatment of women (and, especially, women's sexual experience) in movies like Gate of Flesh (1964), Story of a Prostitute (1965), and this 1966 drama. After falling victim to a gang rape, a young girl from the country (Yumiko Nogawa) moves to Osaka to become a hostess in a cabaret, where she learns to leverage the same thing that was taken from her earlier. Suzuki adapted a novel by Toko Kon, though the comically perverse tale of a young innocent running a gauntlet of drooling men reminded me of Terry Southern and Mason Hoffenberger's 1958 novel Candy. In Japanese with subtitles.

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