The Sun's Burial | Chicago Reader

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Nagisa Oshima followed his first two features, A Town of Love and Hope (1959) and Cruel Story of Youth (1960), with another tale of kids bouncing around the mean streets of postwar Japan. Location shooting captures all the squalor of Kamagasaki, Osaka's largest slum, as two teenage pals join a street gang run by a brutal pimp; one of them quickly graduates from robbery to rape, but his conscience-stricken friend begins to want out and bonds with a flinty streetwalker who runs an illegal blood bank on the side. Rolling into a tumult of threats, punishments, and double-crosses, this 1960 drama doesn't seem much different from a juvenile delinquency exploitationer like the Nikkatsu studio's The Warped Ones, released a month later, except that Oshima caps off the action with a thesis-heavy climax evoking Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In Japanese with subtitles. 87 min.

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