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Indiana University

Outreach

Video Lending Library

Japan

Program Title: Portrait of Hell
EASC Code: JP-14
Series Title:
Region/Country: Japan
Language: Japanese, English
Subtitles: English
Subject: History, Fiction
Program Type: Feature
Media Type:
Director:
Producer: Tanaka Tomoyuki
Release Date: 1969
Running Time: 95 min.
Color or BW: Color
Program Abstract: Based on a story by world-renowned author Akutagawa Ryonosuke, Portrait of Hell is a vivid depiction of a world where only the powerful were free, and the powerless lived in an earthly Hell. Almost 1000 years ago, during the Heian era in Japan, Yoshihide, a vistionary Korean painter (Nakadai), clashes with his despotic patron, the Paramount Lord (Nakamura), insisting on painting only the truth, and only what he has himself witnessed--the poverty and suffering that surrounds him. When Yoshihide finally convinces the Paramount Lord to let him paint a Portrait of Hell, the descent into madness begins for both men…for Yoshihide must see Hell in order to paint it, and his sadistic patron is all too willing to arrange a viewing! Portrait of Hell paints a collage of a world where Love cannot exist without Hate, where Happiness cannot exist with Sorrow and above all where Horror and Madness lurk in the recesses of every man's mind.
Data Entry Date: 7/30/2007