A tale, apparently based on legend, about two women, one elderly and the other her daughter-in-law, who survive by killing samurai and selling their armour to buy rice. When the girl begins to lust after a neighbour, the older woman becomes jealous, and tries to frighten the girl by wearing a demon mask at night. No masterpiece by any means, it's at times overplayed, but it's striking visually, handling swift horizontal movement - and using the claustrophobic body-high reeds among which the women live - very well. It's also genuinely erotic, and the treatment in detail of the women's lives as essentially bestial is interesting so long as Shindo stops short of portentous allegorising about the human condition.
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