A film about another kind of "unreturned soldier" than Shohei Imamura has profiled elsewhere, KARAYUKI-SAN finds the filmmaker traveling to Malaysia to interview Kikuyo Zendo, one of the countless Japanese women who were kidnapped or otherwise sold into sexual slavery in order to service the Japanese military in Southeast Asia.
74 years old at the time of filming, she offers a frank and harrowing testimony into her horrific wartime experiences, and the factors that have led her to choose exile over repatriation.
“Perhaps the most brilliant and feeling of Imamura’s fine documentaries.” —Joan Mellen, THE WAVES AT GENJI'S DOOR
"Energized by the stoicism of its speaker, a woman coolly recalling her wartime sale to a brothel." —Time Out New York
"KARAYUKI-SAN, THE MAKING OF A PROSTITUTE might seem matter-of-fact, but it carefully builds to a concluding revelation. Sympathetic but unsentimental, Imamura lets the details speak for themselves." —Steve Dollar, Wall Street Journal
"Imamura extends quiet patience towards his subject, encouraging her to reclaim the humanity that had been stolen in the wake of Japan's imperial hubris." —Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader