Yet, in this case Oshima makes no attempt to hide the “violence” signified by the American title. The first many frames of this film (there are a total of over 2,000 cuts in the entire movie) represent a combination of jarring shifts of camera position and the juxtaposition of vertical and horizontal patterns that hint of the rapists’ ultimate ending, eventually with the help of his conflicted lovers, internment in prison and a sentence of death. This violent criminal, we later discover, actually accosted 35 women, killing several of them.
It is only the solid, hard-working peasant Shino who might survive. Late in this violent-laden film, after both women have both helped to turn over the true menace of their lives over to the police, they together realize how they had helped Eisuke—even indirectly—to commit his terrible acts, with a deep sense of guilt—what they describe as a “link” to him—realizing that their lives have also come to an end. The always proud and graceful Mutsuko gathers her students together, and naming them one by one, personally says goodbye, a beautiful scene that combines here personal teaching skills with her graceful recognition of who she and everyone around her is.