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The Sea Is Watching (2002) - movie overview

The Sea Is Watching (2002)

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Plot Description

Original title: Umi wa miteita

Release Date
 USA: Jul 18, 2003
DVD Release Date
 R1: Nov 18, 2003

MPAA Rating
Rated R for some sexuality.

Running Time
1 hour, 59 minutes

Country Japan

Studio Sony Pictures Entertainment

More info on

Other Titles
• The Sea Is Watching
• Umi wa miteita
• The Sea Watches

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Genre: Romance, Drama, Period Piece, Prostitution, Love

Plot: Based on a screenplay by the late filmmaking legend Akira Kurosawa, Kei Kumai's THE SEA IS WATCHING follows the lives of women residing and working at a brothel in Edo-era Japan. Amidst the daily rountines of tea and gossip, the ladies of the Ashi No Ya house, inevitably get emotionally involved with their clients. Young, nave O-Shin (Nagiko Tohno) falls for an inexperienced samurai, even though he is from a higher social class. Meanwhile, her big-sister figure, Kikuno (Misa Shimizu), has both a thuggish boyfriend and a kind, older man vying for her affections. Eventually, Ryosuke (Masatoshi Nagase), a troubled wanderer, visits the brothel, and he forms an unlikely connection with O-Shin--one that may have a lasting effect on her life.

Filmed entirely on a set that recreates pre-20th-century Japanese village life, THE SEA IS WATCHING focuses on the brothel and its denizens with a tight lens. Although the actors turn in fine performances, the real stars of the show are the costumes and sets, which recall an era of Japanese history that few contemporary films touch on. Surprisingly romantic, this tribute to Kurosawa is an enjoyable outing, strengthed by Kumai's vivid vision of the past.

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 Directed by
Kei Kumai
Shiny Moss
 Written by
Akira Kurosawa
Last Man Standing, Ame agaru, The Outrage
Shugoro Yamamoto
Ame agaru, Aobe ka monogatari
Misa Shimizu
Shall We Dance?, The Eel, Akai hashi no shita no nurui mizu
Nagiko Tono
Night Head
Masatoshi Nagase
Mystery Train, Suicide Circle, Cold Fever
Hidetaka Yoshioka
Hachi-gatsu no kyôshikyoku, Ame agaru, Madadayo
Eiji Okuda
Shôjo, Otoko-tachi no Yamato, Shiny Moss
Renji Ishibashi
Audition, One Missed Call, Dead or Alive: Hanzaisha
Miho Tsumiki
Hebi ichigo, Tetsuko no heya 30nen special, Fuon
 Music By
Teizo Matsumura
Shiny Moss

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