Pigs and Battleships

Watch Pigs and Battleships

  • NR
  • 1961
  • 1 hr 48 min
  • 7.5  (2,541)

Pigs and Battleships is a 1961 Japanese crime drama film directed by Shohei Imamura. It is a part of the director's "Pigs and Prostitutes" trilogy, which includes two other films - The Insect Woman and Intentions of Murder. The film is set in Yokosuka, a naval port city, during the post-World War II period. The story revolves around Kinta (Hiroyuki Nagato), a young yakuza member who wants to make a name for himself in the criminal world. He is involved in a counterfeit money scam and is on the lookout for bigger opportunities. His girlfriend, Haruko (Jitsuko Yoshimura), works as a bar hostess and dreams of a better life. However, their plans are disturbed when a group of American sailors arrive in the city.

The sailors, on shore leave, are looking for entertainment and end up at the bars where Haruko and her colleagues work. The sailors have access to money, and the Japanese women see them as a source of income. Kinta sees an opportunity and decides to exploit the situation by organizing illegal activities such as prostitution and gambling for the sailors. However, this brings him in conflict with his yakuza gang, who disapprove of his actions.

The film shows the clash between the traditional Japanese culture and the American influence on the country after the war. The sailors are shown as boisterous and rude, and the Japanese women are seen as exploiting them for their own benefit. The film also portrays the struggles of the working-class people who are trying to make ends meet in a difficult economic situation.

The title of the film refers to the pig farming that takes place in Yokosuka. The pigs are fed the kitchen leftovers from the American naval vessels, and their meat is sold in the surrounding areas. The film uses this as a metaphor for the relationship between the Americans and the Japanese. The pigs are seen as the Japanese people who are feeding on the scraps of the Americans.

The film is shot in a gritty, realistic style, typical of Imamura's work. The director uses a lot of close-ups to show the characters' emotions and the harsh living conditions they are in. The film has a documentary-like feel to it, and there are several scenes of everyday life in the city, such as fishing boats returning from the sea and street vendors selling their wares.

The performances of the actors are excellent, with Hiroyuki Nagato standing out as the lead character. He conveys the conflicted nature of his character well, showing both his ambition and insecurity. Jitsuko Yoshimura is also impressive as the bar hostess who dreams of a better life, but is unable to break free from her surroundings.

Overall, Pigs and Battleships is a powerful film that portrays the struggles of the people in post-war Japan. It is a gritty, realistic portrayal of the criminal underworld and the exploitation that takes place in a city heavily influenced by American culture. Imamura's direction and the strong performances of the actors make it a must-see for fans of Japanese cinema or those interested in post-war Japan.

Pigs and Battleships
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 48 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.5  (2,541)