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Set in a 19th-century brothel, THE SEA IS WATCHING is the story of a beautiful young geisha, O-Shin(Nagiko Tohno), who harbors a samurai (Rhapsody in August's Hidetaka Yoshioka) seeking refuge. Falling in love with O-Shin, the samurai hopes to cleanse her of the sins of her profession. But fate and fortune conspire to keep the lovers apart. When another young man (Masatoshi Nagase, Mystery Train) appears, a thunderous storm strikes their village. What, if anything, will survive nature's fury? This stunning epic was the final film written by legendary director Akira Kurosawa (The Seven Samurai, Ran). Hand-picked by Kurosawa's son, director Kei Kumai delivers a visually striking love story for the ages.
To film lovers around the world, The Sea Is Watching is a welcome parting gift from Akira Kurosawa, who wrote the screenplay based on two short stories by one of his favorite authors, Syugoro Yamamoto, but was unable to make the film prior to his death in 1998. Kurosawa left detailed storyboards and production notes, entrusting veteran director Kei Kumai to bring his vision to the screen. The results are both glorious and rather mild, by Kurosawa standards, but this gentle melodrama about love, loss, and survival retains much of the peaceful optimism that informed Kurosawa's final films. Set in the 19th century Edo period, the story focuses on the prostitutes of a seaside village brothel, where the vulnerable geisha O-Shin (Nagiko Tohno) endures one heartbreaking love and a potential second, while the more cynical Kikuno (Misa Shimizu) combats misery with harmless fantasies that bolster her spirits. Nature plays a role, and a climactic typhoon has a cleansing effect, offering hope in the wake of destruction, as if the sea had been watching all along. And like the sea itself, Kurosawa's spirit washes over this beautiful film, compromised only by music that's more sentimental than Kurosawa would have allowed. -- Jeff Shannon
The sisterhood of the bordello. Prostitutes with hearts of gold. Customers falling for their pleasure service providers and vice versa. Do these themes seem familiar? Read morePublished 12 months ago by William F. Flanigan Jr.
I ordered this movie and within 5 days I got it. I love this movie. I have a collection of Asian movies and this one I
will watch again. Thank you for your prompt service. Read more
This is a very good movie. It is about a low land village of easy pleasure and the folks who inhabit and visit it. Read morePublished on January 24, 2013 by Tom Sanders
After watching 100's of Asiasn films, this is in the top 1% along with Woman Ascends the Stairs (Japan) and Chocolate (Thailand). Story in Edo time as set in a brothel. Read morePublished on July 18, 2011 by Indiandaeng
Written by Akira Kurosawa complete with production notes regarding its culture, society and detail in 1993, director Kei Kumai adapts his screenplay in 2002 for "The Sea is... Read morePublished on August 16, 2009 by Woopak
The acclaimed director Akira Kurosawa wrote the screenplay for this lyrical portrayal of the lives of prostitutes in 19th century Edo Japan. Read morePublished on April 16, 2009 by Z Hayes
There are many Japanese plays about the prostitutes and kept women
who many times were sold as "contract" workers until even today? Read more
Beautiful cinematography highlights this Tokugawa era film. "The Sea Is Watching," was written by Akira Kurosawa, and directed by his son Kei Kumai. Read morePublished on September 23, 2007 by Ernest Jagger
I am by no means an expert on Japanese films or Kurosawa and Kumai.What I do enjoy, though, is a good story told ,acted and executed well; so that said,THE SEA IS WATCHING was an... Read morePublished on August 12, 2007 by KerrLines