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Caterpillar
Directed by Kōji Wakamatsu
Produced by Takafumi Ohigata
Written by Hisako Kurosawa
Masao Adachi
Starring Shinobu Terajima
Cinematography Yoshihisa Toda
Tomohiko Tsuji
Editing by Shuichi Kakesu
Release date(s) February 2010
Running time 85 minutes
Country Japan
Language Japanese

Caterpillar (キャタピラー Kyatapirâ?) is a 2010 Japanese drama film directed by Kōji Wakamatsu, partially drawn from Edogawa Rampo's banned short-story "The Caterpillar" (芋虫 Imomushi?, 1929).

The film is a critique of the right-wing militarist nationalism that guided Japan's conduct in Asia during the Second Sino-Japanese War and World War II. It also deals with the issues of war crimes, handicapped veterans, sexual perversion and spousal abuse.

It was nominated for the Golden Bear at the 60th Berlin International Film Festival.[1] Shinobu Terajima received the Silver Bear for Best Actress at the Berlin Film Festival for her portrayal of Kurokawa's wife.[2]

Contents

Story and themes

The movie is about the relationship between a Japanese soldier, who returns home from China horribly maimed, and his wife. It is set in the late 1930's, during the Second Sino-Japanese War.[3] In the first scene, Lieutenant Kurokawa scourges, rapes and disembowels Chinese people during the war. Later, he returns home a war hero, but with a horribly mutilated body. He is alive but reduced to a torso (no limbs), deaf and mute, with burns covering half of his face, but with three medals on his chest. Despite his condition, he is still constantly eager for sex,[3] which he performs acrobatically with his wife.[4] The sexual acts are rough and are imposed on his wife,[citation needed] who is repelled by him, but who nevertheless feels a duty to take care of him.[citation needed]

In Japan, there is a new trend, seen in fashion, cartoons and videogames, of questioning the country's fascist past, and Wakamatsu's movie is part of that trend.[4] The film is the political response to and criticism of Yukio Mishima's reactionary short film Patriotism.[4] Caterpillar indicts right-wing militarist nationalism, satirically deploys Japanese propaganda, and significantly politicizes and humanizes Edogawa Rampo's 1929 banned short-story.[3] The film demystifies the glorification of war, which is used to hide war's grim reality.[2] It also depicts the unfair demands placed on Japanese women, during war and peacetime.[2]

Awards

It was nominated for the Golden Bear at the 60th Berlin International Film Festival.[1] Shinobu Terajima received the Silver Bear for Best Actress at the Berlin Film Festival for her portrayal of Kurokawa's wife.[2]

Cast

  • Shinobu Terajima - Shigeko Kurokawa
  • Keigo Kasuya - Tadashi Kurokawa
  • Sabu Kawahara - The Village Chief
  • Gô Jibiki - Military officer #1
  • Arata - Military officer #2
  • Katsuyuki Shinohara - Kuma
  • Daisuke Iijima - Commander
  • Ichirô Ogura - Announcer
  • Sanshirô Kobayashi - Village man #1
  • Mariko Terada - Chinese woman #2
  • Ken Furusawa

References

External links








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