It’s a film in which for most of the hour and a half running time, we watch a man and a woman walking up and down a steep narrow path, fetching and carrying buckets of water in blistering heat, and occasionally ladling the water parsimoniously onto wilting plants. We get to know every step, every difficulty in the arduous and repeated daily journeys to get enough water for crops and family to survive.
It sounds somewhat dull with the “plot” laid out like this, but it is one of the most moving and humanist films I have seen.
This compelling film, made by Kaneto Shindo, shares with Onibaba the theme of what humans must do to survive.
Beautifully photographed, and almost devoid of dialogue, it is the story of the human struggle against the relentless press of the natural world.