Born in 1918, Tome is the daughter of an economically poor, dysfunctional family in early twentieth-century rural Japan. While working as a servant to the owners of the land her family tends, Tome is raped by the landlord’s son and falls pregnant. After the war has ended, leaving the child behind in the care of her mentally unstable father, she flees to Tokyo in search of riches and soon begins to work in a brothel. Learning her trade from an experienced madam, Tome ruthlessly climbs up the ranks of the sex trade and, with the support of her lover Karasawa, eventually becomes the owner of a successful call-girl business.
The relationship between cinema and external context is often slippery and difficult to define. This is particularly true of the narrative feature film, which historically has been primarily concerned with the linear progression of story and the logical . . . Read More