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Criterion Reflections – Profound Desires of the Gods (1968) – Hulu

David’s Quick Take for the tl;dr Media Consumer:

Profound Desire(s) of the Gods is a sprawling, disturbing, ambitiously weird would-be epic about a clash of societies within the territorial boundaries of a rapidly modernizing Japan. It’s set on the fictional southern island of Karuge, where ancient tribal customs and animistic worship rituals still held most of the inhabitants in a strong (though inevitably loosening) grip. The narrative conflict stems from outsiders who want to convert the arable land into a sugar cane plantation and exploit the island’s inherent value as a tourist destination. But the forces of commerce and technological efficiency are ill-prepared to deal with the stubborn resiliency of the people they encounter, or the baffling complex of myths and taboos that compel them.

The film was a major throw down by Shohei Imamura, a director who had achieved enough commercial success with his

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