Spanning the period from 1918 to the early 1960s, 'The Insect Woman' traces the disastrous but determined progress of a peasant who, leaving her village for the city, works her way through various jobs to become a brothel madame. Her life is a litany of loveless sex (save, perhaps, with her father, if indeed that’s who he is), of exploitation, poverty, pain and – as she insists (correctly but only partly so) – persistent but persistently fickle men; inevitably, it also reflects social, political and economic change in Japan. Shot in ’Scope images as unremittingly dark as its brutally ironic take on human intercourse (in all senses of the term), the film is as sour and inexorable as Clouzot, Sirk or Fassbinder’s bleakest achievements.
The Insect Woman
Cast and crew