Wife of Seishu Hanaoka, The

Director: Masumura Yasuzo

Japan| 1967. English subtitles. Colour. Anamorphic. 100 min.

An extraordinarily bizarre period film about physician Hanaoka Seishu, the first doctor to use general anesthetic. Hanaoka is so completely immersed in his work that he has little time for the two women in his life—his mother and long suffering wife. Vying for his attention, the two women offer themselves as guinea pigs for his surgical trials. Choosing to focus on the wife rather than the surgeon, Masumura asks us to consider who is the more heroic here—the self-obsessed doctor or his loving spouse? A vertiginous study in obsession, amour fou and monomania, The Wife of Seishu Hanaoka is unlike any other film you will have seen.

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