Picture Bride, released in 1995 and directed by Kayo Hatta, tells the story of many women living in Japan who were chosen to be brides by Japanese farm laborers living in Hawaii. The choice of the bride was based on their pictures. In this movie, Riyo wanted to leave Japan because her parents were killed by tuberculosis. She had heard great things about the paradise in Hawaii, and she agreed to be a picture bride. Riyo’s new husband was Matsuji, and based on his picture he seemed to be young, maybe in his twenties. Riyo was disappointed to find out that he had given her an old photo, and he was actually forty-three years old; older than Riyo’s father. Riyo was also disappointed to see her home as a shack. She continually tried to refuse Matsuji as her husband, starting on her wedding day when she wouldn’t allow him to help her off of the wagon, and then when she bit his hand when he tried to consummate the wedding night. She decided to try saving money to return to her aunt in Japan. Since Riyo was a city girl, she was also homesick because the work on the sugar cane plantation was very difficult for her due to her frailness. Riyo became best friends with a Japanese picture bride named Kana, who was also saving up to return to Japan. To help Riyo make more money to save, Kana introduced Riyo to ‘the laundry business’, which involved washing the white folk’s laundry, and delivering it to them. Kana ended up dieing in a fire on the sugar cane plantation when she tried to save her small son. Riyo continued the laundry business, and the story ended with Riyo and Matsuji making love; symbolizing that they were finally husband and wife. Key film techniques used in Picture Bride were setting, costume, makeup, camera angles, lighting, and sound effects. The setting of this film was the 1800s. To establish the time; the film had wagons instead of cars, and it displayed the cabin-like home of Riyo and Matsuji without electricity. Also, they had no...
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