Ditch ★★

The first Shindô misfire I've run across. Tonally awkward exploration of urban poverty as the lives of several desperate people who live in a shanty town nicknamed "The Ditch" continually exploit a mentally-impaired woman who shows up asking for food outside the nearby factory. There are several moments where Shindô's premiere human observation shines through (the rice clinging to her desperate hands or the coal train dropping coal along the tracks and the people ready with pales to collect) and of course it features fantastic location photography. Still, narratively and tonally, I could never quite get on his wavelength and found this to be far weaker than his other socially-informed dramas.