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The Narrow Road to the Deep Sea (2019-20) >

Part II: The Smoking Lady (2019)

Single-channel video
16:9 | HD | Colour | 9’43” | Stereo


In the history of war, it was prevalent (though not acceptable) that the commander of the victorious army will allow the soldiers to drink, loot, rob, rape and kill local citizens right after the conquering of a city. As the soldiers were away from home for a long time, and even possibly injured and died during the invasion, the army took atrocities as a valid reward to raise morale and provide incentives for the next battle. Yet, it is banned under International Law and considered as war crime nowadays.

After Hong Kong fell into the hand of the Imperial Japanese Army on 25th December 1941, the army allowed soldiers to celebrate the victory for three days; after then, the military changed their mind and asked for resuming army discipline and social order (i.e. Japanese Martial Law), to earn public recognition. Still, it didn’t succeed until the Liberation Day. Young women were highly endangered; they hid at home, in the mountains and rural areas, fled to mainland China and even uninhabited islands. The protagonist was one of them, and she was forced to Canton and faced her unfortunate fate of being a refugee.

Before she fled to the mainland, she cut her hair and disguised as a boy. In the early spring in 1942, she had the last cigarette before taking a boat to Canton.




Cast: ADACHI Momoyo | KUSAKABE Yoshio