Masahiro Shinoda - Double Suicide
The film is based on a 1720 or Bunraku puppet play, The Love Suicide at Amijima by Monzaemon Chikamatsu, who has been called the Japanese Shakespeare. As the film begins, black-clad puppeteers known as kurago are busy assembling puppets and setting the stage for the drama. Soon live actors replace the puppets but the puppeteers remain in the background, silent participants changing the sets, assembling the props, and “pulling the strings”, representing perhaps the inexorable hand that guides our lives or as Shinoda has said the `thin line between truth and falsehood”. The film is intensely emotional and has the feel of grand opera but the puppeteers make clear the artificiality of the drama and keep us distanced.