12 January 2006 | phawalsh
Available in DVD (non-US format)
This is in my top 10 list of films. This is a beautiful, moving film. It is also probably one of the most tragic films I have seen. It got an inexplicably tepid review from Vincent Canby when it premiered in NYC back in 1977 or 1978, which perhaps explains why it was never widely distributed in the US. The film takes place during the first decades of the 20th century, following the story of Orin, blind from birth, from childhood on. The film is told largely from her perspective, from a woman's perspective, which is rare in film, especially Japanese films. The other reviewer is mistaken - she does not take her own life, but he is entirely correct that the film deserves a much, much wider audience than it has received, at least in this country.
More than 20 years after seeing this movie, and having searched for it for almost as long, I finally obtained a decent DVD with English subtitles from play-asia.com (Hong Kong). It is listed there as Hanare Goze Orin. It's rather expensive, but worth it, in my opinion. You'll need a region-free player.