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Japanese New Wave director Hiroshi Teshigahara's 1964 allegory on the meaning of freedom and the discovery of identity. An office worker (Eiji Okada) on an entomological holiday spends the night with a widow (Kyoko Kishida), whose shack at the bottom of a sand pit becomes his prison. Gradually he learns to love her and to help her in her endless task of shoveling sand, which the local villagers use to protect themselves from the elements. A bizarre film, distinguished not so much by Kobo Abe's rather obvious screenplay as by Teshigahara's arresting visual style of extreme depth of focus, immaculate detail, and graceful eroticism. In Japanese with subtitles. 123 min.

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