Matanohi No Chika (The Many Faces of Chika). 2005. Japan. Directed by Kazuo Hara. Produced and written by Sachiko Kobayashi. With Takami Yoshimoto, Makiko Watanabe, Kumiko Kan (Kumija Kim), Momoi Kaori. In Japanese; English subtitles. 114 min.
This daring experimental drama, with its echoes of Haruki Murakami’s novel Norwegian Wood, charts the anarchical politics and violent social upheaval of 1960s and 1970s Japan through a woman’s relationships with various men. Played by four different actresses (including the extraordinary Momoi Kaori, and Kumiko Kan in her last performance), Chika is as fiercely independent as the women of Kazuo Hara and Sachiko Kobayashi’s documentaries; she recalls, as well, the spurned and defiantly resilient women of Mizoguchi, Naruse, and Imamura films.