Reimagining tradition: Dolls (2002)

Ethereal cinematography, perfectly wistful, and heartbreaking story telling. Dolls takes the tender stories of traditional Japanese bunraku puppet theatre, and transforms them into something just as emotive for a modern audience. Director Takeshi Kitano preserves the theatrical, but translates the tales into visually stunning cinema, allowing a wider audience to appreciate the lore of Japan.

Displayed are three tales of unconditional love. A man full of regret vows to spend the rest of his days bound to the woman he wronged. A retired yakuza gangsta attempts to connect with a sweetheart from his past. And a super-fan of a pop star makes the ultimate sacrifice to prove his devotion. Throughout the film each tale delicately weaves through the other, and the passing of the four seasons, each filled with their own emotive thesis.

Never has a film broke your heart into so many pieces, and just as tenderly put it back together again. Surreal story telling, accompanied with the melancholy, regret, and yearning of over 400 years of craft, Dolls is a film that any human with a heart must watch.

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