Warm Water Under a Red Bridge

Directed by Shohei Imamura
Film Movement Classics
2001
119 Minutes
Japan
Japanese
Comedy, Fantasy, Drama, Asian, Classics
Not Rated

Brimming with magical realism, sensuality, and humor, the final film by revered filmmaker Shohei Imamura is "an enlightening, even liberating, experience" (Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times) that tells the story of Yosuke Sasano, an unemployed salaryman who arrives in a remote fishing village following a rumor of hidden treasure. Instead, he meets Saeko Aizawa, a charming and unusual woman with a unique problem: a well of warm water inside her longing for release. Saeko faces both shame and adoration for her condition, which the local anglers believe feeds the river and its fish. Intrigued and enamored, Yosuke decides to take up a new life as a fisherman. Through their passionate affair, Imamura paints a picture of longing, fantasy, and the search for true happiness in the most unexpected of places that's both "nonchalantly freaky and uncommonly pleasurable" (Michael Atkinson, The Village Voice).

Director & Cast

  • Director: Shohei Imamura
  • Starring: Kôji Yakusho
  • Starring: Misa Shimizu

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Reviews

  • "An enlightening, even liberating, experience."
    Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
  • "Like its bizarre heroine, it irrigates our souls."
    Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune
  • "Imamura has said that Warm Water Under a Red Bridge is a poem to the enduring strengths of women. It may also be the best sex comedy about environmental pollution ever made."
    Ella Taylor, L.A. Weekly
  • "A deep and meaningful film."
    Janice Page, Boston Globe
  • "Imamura's delight in the infinite oddity of men and women is goofy; it's also, at heart, reverent."
    Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly
  • "Nonchalantly freaky and uncommonly pleasurable, Warm Water may well be the year's best and most unpredictable comedy."
    Michael Atkinson, Village Voice
  • "Charmingly bizarre slice of magic realism."
    Tom Dawson, BBC
  • "A tasty slice of droll whimsy."
    Gene Seymour, Newsday
  • "A delirious celebration of the female orgasm."
    Ed Gonzalez, Slant Magazine
  • "A weird and wonderful comedy."
    Dave Kehr, Citysearch