Film

Red Angel
FILM

Red Angel

赤い天使 (Akai Tenshi)
Thursday, April 1, 2010

© Kadokawa Pictures, Inc.



1966, 95 min., 35 mm, B&W, in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Yasuzo Masumura. With Ayako Wakao, Shinsuke Ashida, Yusuke Kawazu. Print courtesy of The Japan Foundation with permission from Kadokawa Pictures, Inc.

In Red Angel, Ayako Wakao gives a performance of extraordinary focus and intensity as Sakura Nishi, a deceptively naive nurse sent to the Manchurian front during the Sino-Japanese War. Tending to the massive number of injured Japanese soldiers, Sakura fights her own desperate battles as she finds herself the prey of her compatriots’ unwelcome assaults. "Through the fierceness of its expression, sex becomes the symbol of the will to live," eminent critic Tadao Sato wrote of this controversial film.

Before long, her selfless attempts at ministering to a soldier who raped her bring her into the company and service of Dr. Okabe (Shinsuke Ashida), a morphine-addicted surgeon who in turn becomes dependent on her, despite (or because of) his impotence. A romance fleshed from the grief of his sexual failure, with its foreshadowing of death, blooms between the two, while men continue to fall on the battlefield. Is Sakura, as she herself suspects, fated to doom those she most wishes to save? Is she both an angel of mercy and a dealer of death?

18+
This film is unrated, but may only be viewed by persons 18 years of age or older.


Part of the Globus Film Series:
Mad, Bad.... & Dangerous to Know: Three Untamed Beauties

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