Corações Sujos/Dirty Hearts (2011)

Takahasi: Since the beginning of history, Japan has never lost a war. Japan didn't lose this one either.
I stumbled upon this movie randomly on the internet, as usual when I don't know anything about it, I just head towards the IMDb page and the synopsis really made me want to see it. I tend to enjoy movies about expatriate communities as well as historical movies.

A small village in rural Brazil in 1945, the sizeable Japanese community learn the news of the surrender of Japan to the Allied force, for the whole world, it means the war is over. For some of those living abroad, it's a lie. Honor dictates a Japanese man to refuse to believe in the surrender. Quickly, those who dare to pronounce the word "defeat" are threatened along those who speak portuguese, a betrayal only a traitor would commit... Those who act this way are called "Dirty Hearts".

I didn't have much expectations going in, but I was pleasantly surprised, the settings are beautiful, the acting is really up to part, it never falls in the clichés and it doesn't really have down time. The lives of that small community are all shattered and scattered and it feels like an heavy weight that we watch coming closer and closer. The interactions with the indigenous Brasilians are scarce, we quickly understand that they are not the real threat. Those who dispense long discourses about honor are often the last to act in an honorable way. The filming can be erratic at times but it's a minor point and doesn't do much harm to the movie itself, which overall stands pretty solid on its feet. If one believes there are things to be learnt from History then this movie definitely teaches you something.

I liked: The inside look at a community in face of a traumatic change. The dilemmas that all the characters have to deal with. The symbolic of some shots, for example the use of cotton. The main actress not uttering a word but telling us so much nonetheless.

I disliked: The use of the blurry effect, it was overused and it seemed to have no real purpose. The ending seemed a little convenient, it doesn't take much out of the overall movie at all, but it left me this impression.

Don't get fooled by the IMDb rating of only 6.4, if you enjoy this period of history, or even if you enjoy Japanese movies or codes of honor, this is a pretty good example, ironically, it is not even a Japanese movie. 


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