One of the longest, strangest and best films I’ve ever seen, Love Exposure is a four hour long Japanese epic written and directed by acclaimed director Shion Sono which tackles themes such as love, lust, religion, the family unit, loss and…um… up skirt photography.
Rather than a plot summery, here is a brief outline of the five main characters. Hopefully it will put across the magnificent uniqueness of this fantastic film.
Yu Honda (Takahiro Nishijima) is a seventeen year old Priest’s son. Following sorrow in his father’s life, the Priest only allows Yu to see him during confession. Yu ends up desperately searching for Sins to commit so that he can tell his father and drifts into the world of up skirt photography which he becomes a master of due to his martial arts skills. After loosing a bet regarding who has the best photo, his friends dare him to dress up as a woman and find a girl to kiss. He comes across a young woman called Yoko who he instantly knows is his ‘Mary’. The only problem is that when they meet, he is in drag as ‘Miss Scorpion’…Yoko (Hikari Mitsushima) is the same age as Yu and lives with her father’s ex lover Kaori. Her father abused her as a child and as a result she hates all men. One day she is confronted and attacked by a group of men but saved when a strange woman called Miss Scorpion comes to her rescue. She falls instantly in love but at the same time is forced to move in with Kaori’s new lover and his son, Yu who she hates with a passion.
Kaori (Makiko Watanabe) is an early middle aged woman who has spent her life going from one man to another. Along the way she has picked up the daughter of one of these men, Yoko. The two of them bonded as friends and now wherever Kaori goes, Yoko follows. Depressed one day, Kaori finds herself in a Church where she forces herself on the Priest.
Tetsu Honda (Atsuro Watabe) is a Priest, widower and father to Yu. Conflicted between his faith and love of a new woman he starts putting pressure on his son to Sin before eventually disowning him altogether when it becomes clear that his Sins have got out of hand. Along with Kaori and Yoko, he is indoctrinated into a cult called the
Aya Koike (Sakura Ando) is a member of the Zero Church Cult who indoctrinate families into their circle. Like Yoko she too was abused by her father but instead of escaping, chopped off his penis when he was asleep. Aya turns her attention to Yu and his family when she sees an opportunity to indoctrinate them.