The Insect Woman
1966, NR, 123 min. Directed by Shohei Imamura. Starring Sachiko Hidari, Jitsuko Yoshimura.
REVIEWED By Marjorie Baumgarten, Wed., Nov. 17, 1999
The Insect Woman, from Japanese director Shohei Imamura, one of the most important – and least internationally known – post-war filmmakers, tells the story of a young peasant woman who leaves her mountain village to become the boss of a call girl ring in Tokyo. With this celebration of three generations of female survivors, the director’s sensitivity toward woman has been widely praised. The Village Voice named it the best of the year when it was released in New York in the Eighties. It has also been compared to Fassbinder’s The Marriage of Maria Braun and Sirk’s Imitation of Life.