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  7. Blind Woman’s Curse

Blind Woman’s Curse

Teruo Ishii, Japan 1970, 85 Min. Min., OV with English subs
Followed by a talk with Laura Treglia

The Tachibana yakuza clan is recognisable by the back tattoos sported by its members: a dragon which takes full form when they line up alongside each other. The head of the dragon is carried by leader Akemi, who, during a fight, slashes the eyes of an opponent. The blind victim vows revenge, killing off each member of the gang and collecting their tattooed skins until she faces off with Akemi in a climactic sword fight. With its grotesque, violent, and erotic imagery, Blind Woman’s Curse is a vivid amalgam of genre influences from horror, yakuza, and sexploitation films. The theme of revenge, whilst integral to the plot, is ultimately subverted as the protagonists woefully ponder its futility towards the end.

Laura Treglia is currently an independent scholar. She holds a PhD in Gender Studies and MA in Japanese Studies (both awarded by SOAS, University of London) and has been visiting lecturer and assistant professor in the UK and Qatar. Her research interests include feminist film and media theory, East Asian religions and philosophies, genre and cult cinema, Japanese society and culture, and television studies.