Woman of the Dunes

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An entomologist finds himself trapped by mysteriously tribal villagers, and forced to cohabit with a desirable but inarticulate woman in an escape-proof sandpit. Leaving aside all the teasing questions of allegorical meaning, Teshigahara's film is a tour de force of visual style, and a knockout as an unusually cruel thriller. It builds on its blatantly contrived premise (taken from Kobo Abé's novel) with absolute fidelity and conviction, which leaves the manifest pretensions looking both credible and interesting, and centres its effects on the erotic attraction between the man and woman, filmed with a palpable physicality that remains extraordinary.

By: TR

Release details

Rated: 12A
Duration: 127 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Hiroshi Teshigahara
Screenwriter: Kobo Abé
Cast: Eiji Okada
Kyoko Kishida