Probably the most important unrecognized film in Imamura's oeuvre. In one sweeping gesture, he discovers an unreported ethnographic human culture, and uncovers what can only amount to a government conspiracy against a repressed and uneducated people, before tying it together into a broader human statement of self-reflection. It's a walkabout every person, not just documentarian, should take.
I am shocked this isn't more well known among Japanese film enthusiasts. Imamura was running low on budget in the 70s and this is one of the documentaries he made in that time. A portrayal of many different cultures trying to co-exist in one little archipelago, always intriguing, beautiful and human. A masterpiece, not Imamura's absolute best film but it almost feels like a real life Profound Desires of the Gods. 5/5