This controversial fourth feature by Matsuo Yanagimachi, one of the leading Japanese independents, is the story of a middle-aged lumberjack and hunter named Tatsuo living in a remote coastal village. A single male in a matriarchal family and a Shinto-inspired pantheist, Tatsuo refuses to sell his land for the construction of a highway leading up to a new marina, and after a religious experience during the district’s annual fire festival he kills his entire family as well as himself. Inspired by a 1980 news story about a stone mason, this 1985 film has been criticized for its male narcissism and praised for Masaki Tamura’s striking on-location cinematography. (JR)

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