Cruel Story of Youth
1960, NR, 96 min. Directed by Nagisa Ôshima. Starring Yusuke Kawazu, Miyuki Kuwano, Yoshiko Kuga, Fumio Watanabe, Shinji Tanaka.
REVIEWED By Marjorie Baumgarten, Wed., July 11, 2001
This is an early film by one of the leading lights of the Japanese New Wave, Nagisa Ôshima, who is probably best known for his flinch-provoking love story In the Realm of the Senses. Like most of Ôshima’s films, The Cruel Story of Youth depicts the conflict between old and new values. The story pits two young lovers against the world as aimless rebels without a cause who exploit and blackmail men who offend the social order. In Ôshima’s hands, it becomes a timeless story.