Synopsis by Eleanor Mannikka
This gripping and heart-rending tragedy by director Seiji Hisamatsu is set in 1931 on Itoshi Island in the Inland Sea of Japan, and it is based on a true story. Young boys sent to a nearby reformatory were given over to local fisherman to be used as rowers for their fishing boats. That may sound innocuous, but the boys were treated like chattel, fed very little -- not enough to keep them from starvation -- and beaten. The beautiful seascapes and coastal scenery contrast with the misery of the boys as they try to survive and finally rebel. After one of them is killed, several manage to escape the island, and eventually they make their story known. The cast of young boys is headed by (Kazuo Suzuki) playing the lad who leads the rebellion.
boating, island, Japan, reformatory, rowing, sea, white-slavery