Why Not?

1981 Drama

Eijanaika is a dramatization of a brief but critical moment in Japanese history when Japan emerges from two centuries of isolationism in the 1860s. This new regime proves more receptive to opening Japan up to trade from the West--particularly America. The story is told through the eyes of a Japanese peasant who has just spent several years in America after being shipwrecked. Director Shohei Imamura, who has explored the westernization of Japan in other films, points out the corrupting influence that occidental intervention has had on his country's centuries-old traditions. For those familiar with this story only from the American point of view, Eijanaika will be a genuine eye-opener. The film's running time varies from 127 to 151 minutes; the longer version is currently available on videocassette.~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide