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Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

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If He Hollers, Let Him Go!

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"If He Hollers, Let Him Go!" is trash. That it should be playing in a reputable first-run theater is astonishing; apparently it opened downtown because it has two cheaply exploited angles: nudity and racism. The ads make a lot of both.

I say racism, not race. Although this film features black actors in starring roles, It does not in any sense treat those actors with dignity or even decency. The distinguished black actor Raymond St. Jacques is forced to act in situations and mouth lines which must have caused him untold mental suffering.

The plot is insulting garbage. The story panders in prejudice, deliberately exploiting black-white tensions with a series of scenes in which characters pound, gouge and kick each other bloody. This is an evil film, a dishonest film, an ugly film.

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