Woman of the Dunes (Sunna no Ona)
Directed by: Hiroshi Teshigahara
Running time: 123 minutes
Based on Kobo Abe’s bestselling novel from 1962, Hiroshi Teshigahara ‘s Woman of the Dunes (1964) is a profound musing on issues of freedom and imprisonment. Amateur Entomologist (Eiji Okada) travels to a remote desert region to study bugs and, after missing the last bus back to the city, accepts an offer of a bed for the night from the local villagers. The shelter consists of a ramshackle hut at the bottom of a large sandpit, accessible only by a rope ladder. The young woman that lives in the house spends her entire time removing the sand that continues to pour through the cracks in the walls and ceilings and, after learning that the woman’s husband and son were buried beneath a land slide, it becomes apparent to the man that he has somehow been ushered to this mysterious place to help the woman survive. Realising that he has fallen into a trap, the man’s refuge quickly becomes his prison – a kind of purgatory that lacks the clarity of either damnation or salvation: a metaphor for the human condition.
Reservation is not necessary, but places are limited. Please arrive early to avoid disappointment.