Suna no Onna (Woman in the Dunes)
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When entomologist Jumpei (Eiji Okada) travels to sand dunes on an expedition, he is met by a group of people who offer him a place to spend the night. They soon lead him to a house at the bottom of a sandpit. Upon climbing into the pit, he finds a young widow (Kyoko Kishida) living alone. Placed there by the villagers, her task is to dig sand out of the pit -- not only so that they can avoid getting buried, but so that the locals can use it for construction. The next morning, when Jumpei attempts to leave, he finds that the ladder which brought him into the pit is no longer there and the… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"A bizarre film, distinguished not so much by Kobo Abe's rather obvious screenplay as by Teshigahara's arresting visual style of extreme depth of focus, immaculate detail, and graceful eroticism."
‑ Don Druker, Chicago Reader
"Woman in the Dunes remains a masterpiece, a timeless contemplation of life's essential mystery and a triumph of bold, innovative style."
‑ Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times
"Whether the grains are shown running like water or in super-large close-up, sand's rarely been this interesting."
‑ , Total Film
"An important contribution to the avant-garde, this existential thriller offers an allegorical take on the cruel and twisted universe in which we live."
‑ Jamie Russell, Film4
"A popular art house film of the 1960s, this allegorical tale holds up extremely well, perhaps due to its hypnotic visuals and intense stylization. Hiroshi Teshigahara became the first Japanese filmmaker to be nominated for the Best Director Oscar"
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"Teshigahara's direction and Segawa's camera-work often render the mundane startling and new, a claim that only good films can make."
‑ Mark Chalon Smith, Los Angeles Times
"Filmed with a palpable physicality that remains extraordinary."
‑ , Time Out
"A profoundly moving parable told with beautiful simplicity."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"As beguiling, enigmatic and timeless as the shifting sands, Teshigahara's finest film pulls the viewer in and refuses to let go."
‑ Anton Bitel, Eye for Film
"A promotional video for the Albert Camus Summer Camp"
‑ Dan Jardine, Cinemania
"In stunningly composed images by Teshigahara and cinematographer Hiroshi Segawa, that eroticism becomes overwhelming."
‑ Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune
"A strongly allegorical, strangely engrossing film."
‑ Bosley Crowther, New York Times
"This is like some weird dream."
‑ Rob Mackie, Guardian
"If any piece of art-house cinema can be called an essential, this mesmerizing, haunting work can."
‑ Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
"Woman in the Dunes shares its bloodstream with the likes of Sartre and Samuel Beckett in its existential bartering over the beginning and end of life."
‑ Chris Cabin,
More reviews for Suna no Onna (Woman in the Dunes) on Rotten Tomatoes