28 March 2020 | boblipton
Hideko Takamine, Wakao Ayako, and Raizo Ichikawa
Seishu Hanoka (1760-1835) was a Japanese physician. He developed tsusensan, and performed the first successful operations under a general anaesthesic in the modern world, forty years before his western counterparts. That's the sort of story that makes a good medical biography, and that's what we have here: the tale of how his wife, Ayako Wakao, and his mother-in-law, Hideko Takamine, were his guinea pigs for the anaesthesic, after he stopped killing cats with it.
That feminist, women-must suffer take one story was undoubtedly what attracted the actresses to theory, and Raizo Ichikawa must have jumped at the chance to work with two such superb actresses.... and to get top billing.
The movie is slow-moving, but that's no inappropriate, given the long time-line of the story. It's beautifully designed and performed, and should reward the patient audience