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Throughout the 1980s, Shohei Imamura (The Pornographers, Profound Desires of the Gods), a leading figure of the Japanese New Wave era of the 1960s, cemented his international reputation as one of the most important directors of his generation with a series of films that all competed at Cannes to great critical acclaim. Making its HD debut, Zegen (1987) takes a satirical look at Japan's pre-war colonial expansion through the unscrupulous eyes of its flesh-peddler antihero as he establishes a prostitution enterprise across Southeast Asia. This work epitomises the director's almost documentary style of filmmaking, exposing the vulgar yet vibrant and instinctive underbelly of Japanese society through a sympathetic focus on peasants, prostitutes, criminal lowlife and other marginalised figures to explore the schism between the country's timeless pre-modern traditions and the modern face it projects to the world.
Starring Mitsuko Baisho, Bang-ho Cho, Yuki Furutachi
Director Shôhei Imamura