Silk

Silk

DVD - 2008
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Herve Joncour is a married silkworm smuggler in 19th century France. He travels to Japan to collect his clandestine cargo after his original shipment was destroyed. While in Japan, he spots a beautiful Japanese woman who is the concubine of a local baron. He immediately becomes obsessed. Without speaking the same language, they communicate through letters until war intervenes. Their unrequited love persists however, and Herve's wife Helene begins to suspect something is going on with her husband.

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j
jimg2000
Jun 10, 2018

Brings to mind the Scorsese/Neeson 2016 film “Silence” – with Japanese backdrop and highly focal topic, this time on a traveling young merchant of silkworms --- the incredibly arduous and dangerous journeys and how he spent his time at and away from home in loving and missing his beloved wife for long stretches of time. As others had pointed out, excellent scenery, rich production sets and beautiful cinematography and the universal topic on true love, a lot more than I can say than the “Silence.”

e
ehallworth
Jun 01, 2016

Bad: Unnecessarily long story line with very little activity and exceptionally bad acting by the main character. Voice Over narration while the actor randomly stares into oblivion was ridiculous.

Good: Scenery, Costume and Secondary characters.

h
haoke201301
Aug 09, 2015

I had expected an adventurous romance, only to find near the end that the true development aims at another direction and goes deeper. This movie is special. If you want to watch true and deep love, watch it. If you look for a movie of romance, put it back to shelf.

0
0cho
Jun 23, 2015

Other than the scenery shots this movie is absolutely pointless and stupid of a story. Skip it.

r
rslade
Sep 17, 2014

Pretty but pointless. An art film about a guy who cheats on two "wives" and then loses both.

hania4987 Jan 16, 2014

this is another movie that is trying to make art instead of what this is ... an adventure story encompassed in a love story; so it ends up missing on all levels. It's told as a narrative by Herve in a very downbeat passive voice so you never really experience his journey to Japan which at the time was a closed society. You never fully experience his relationship with his wife or community. it was picturesque in places, evoking traditional Japanese landscapes, lots of musical passages with no dialogue and actually very little plot. Disappointing.

e
erinsnest
Dec 19, 2013

Dec 2013, Must read the book first!.....Jan 16, 2014, just finished the gem of a book, and I can hardly wait to get the movie. I was going to pick it up today, as I am in Lethbridge, but it is checked out already:( I can hardly wait!.......Jan 24, picked up the movie today, and I have the time to watch it tomorrow...life is good!.....Jan 26, started to watch it the night of Jan 24, but on the next day, my book, "The Year of the Flood" (Margaret Atwood) was getting so good, I didn't get back to the movie, same today, so when I finish the book (I have about an hour left according to the audio book, which I am listening to as I read, and HIGHLY recommend) I hope to have enough time left to get back to this movie. So far, the book was much better tho. I'm not so sure I would be enjoying the movie at all, if I hadn't already read the book. One case where, "words are worth a thousand pictures!"....(later) finished the movie, but although it was pretty, it didn't have the same magic as the book. Those simple words......were......exquisite?

a
akirakato
May 08, 2013

This is a 2007 film directed by François Girard, a French-Canadian director, based on the novel written by Alessandro Baricco, an Italian author.
It is a story of a French silkworm merchant-turned-smuggler named Hervé Joncour in 19th century France who travels to Japan for his town's supply of silkworms after a disease wipes out their African supply.
Before the journey, he gets married to Hélène, a teacher and keen gardener.
He loves her so much.
During his stay in Japan, however, he becomes obsessed with the concubine (played by Sei Ashina: 芦名 星) of a local baron.
On his first visit to the secluded village in the Northern part of Japanese mainland, she handed him a note, which reads in Japanese: "Come back or I shall die."
She appears misteriously attractive.
Hervé Joncour never knows her name.
The concubine seems attracted to this silkworm smuggler, yet she introduces a girl to him one night, instead of sleeping with him herself.
His obsession somewhat puzzles me because he has never communicated with the concubine verbally---let alone sexually.
In any case, his obsession is so strong that he seems to do anything to meet her again, but to no avail.
Then he receives a long letter from the mysterious concubine, written in Japanese.
He takes the letter to Madame Blanche for translation, who agrees, providing he never comes to see her again.
Madame Blanche is a Japanese woman whose French merechant-husband has been long dead.
As a owner-and-manager of a high-class brothel, she lives in Lyon, a city in east-central France, and she is known for giving the small blue flowers that she wears to her clients.
The letter is a deeply moving declaration of love.
After his three journeys to Japan, his wife becomes ill and eventually dies.
Hervé finds a tribute of small, blue flowers on her grave.
He seeks out Madame Blanche once more, believing her to have written the letter, but Madame Blanche has moved to Paris without giving him a new address.
Hervé Joncour almost knocks at every door in Paris to find Madame Blanche, and finnaly he meets her.
Madame Blanche reveals a profound secret to him.
This is a big twist in this film.
I'd better not tell you about it.
After this revalation, Madame Blanche tells him that, more than anything, his wife loved him.
Too late, Hervé finally realizes that it was Hélène who was his true love after all.
It is a poetic film and really moving.
The Japanese scenery is authentic because it was filmed in a secluded part outside the city center of Sakata (酒田市、山形県).
You might be convinced that obsession is not love, but that it's more like illusion.
Love is real and it's more like devotion.

theorbys Aug 30, 2012

There is some very beautiful cinematography, but that is all that redeems this film. Meant to be a poetic, sadder but wiser, love story it is slow moving and boring. I finished it because I kept thinking something was going to happen, that it was just a slow starter. Not so, it manages to get ever more pointless and boring.

l
LARRY_M
Jan 28, 2012

Excellent cinematography but poor scripting and plotting makes for an ultimately unsatisfying film.

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Notices

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e
ehallworth
Jun 01, 2016

Sexual Content: Full body nudity, sex scenes.

k
kokosowe
Feb 24, 2009

Violence: This title contains Violence.

k
kokosowe
Feb 24, 2009

Sexual Content: This title contains Sexual Content.

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e
ehallworth
Jun 01, 2016

ehallworth thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

k
kokosowe
Feb 24, 2009

kokosowe thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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j
jimg2000
Jun 10, 2018

Japan? Where is that?
-It's that way. Just keep going to the end of the world.
===
The journey's long and dangerous, And it's forbidden to travel inland beyond Japan's harbors. No Westerner has done it.
===
... they opened the Suez Canal. After that, a journey to Japan would take twenty days, Even less to come back. A new era had begun.
===
I went to see that fellow, Pasteur.
-Yes?
He's pretty darn clever. He's discovered how to isolate the infected eggs from the healthy ones. He can't cure them, but he can tell which ones are good. And the results are guaranteed.
-Mmm. Really?
There's trouble again in Japan. This time, it's serious. The French Consulate in Yokohama have been sending dispatches. They say it's chaos. And this, uh, Italian fellow, Ferreri, he's come back from China with eggs, tons of them, Healthy from first to last, same with Bole. They're offering us a good deal. Seven francs for the gram. And they'll insure them.

j
jimg2000
Jun 10, 2018

I crossed the border at Sgny. Then I journeyed through Europe. I traveled by train from Vienna... Through Moravia... And on to Kiev. I hired a caravan to cross the Russian steppes - Three thousand miles of ice and storm. I had my Christmas dinner at Lake Baikal, And I thought of Helene... always. Then I followed the Amur River along the Chinese border... Until I reached the ocean. I stopped eleven days in Vladivostok, Where a Japanese guide handed me my disguise. I sailed across the sea on a smuggler's ship. And, finally, I reached the port of Sakata. Strange... and haunting. The Mogami River. The snows of Yamagata. I climbed the mountains of Shinobu, Where new guides were waiting for me. And for the next three days, we continued through the peaks. Then, after countless freezing days and sleepless nights... I reached my destination.

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