What You Need To Know:
(Ro, FR, O, SS, NN, A, M) Heroic Romanticism; vague references to Buddhist Shrine, scene of festival honoring the dead & references to ghosts or hearing ghastly noises; bawdy references in song, brief depiction of adultery, brief fondling, & implied prostitution; brief, partial nudity -- female in bath, female undressing (back only) & partially clothed adulterous couple; drunkenness; and, gambling, occasional cigarette smoking & man urinating.
PICTURE BRIDE is a quiet, sweet film which dramatizes a portion of American history when mail order brides from Japan arrived in Hawaii early in this century. Riyo, a recent orphan in Japan, becomes a mail order “picture bride” to Matsuji in Hawaii. Upon arrival, she is horrified to discover that her spouse is middle-aged, so the marriage remains in name only. She works in the sugar cane fields beside her husband and her new friend, Kana, with the sole motivation of earning enough money to return to Japan. Tragic circumstances send her running away to find a way back home. Her eventual return to Matsuji is the beginning of her embrace of her marriage and of her new homeland, Hawaii.
The beautiful cinematography and insightful screenplay introduce viewers to the world of a Japanese immigrant woman who initially rejects her husband and Hawaii but eventually embraces both, due to the support of a friend and the patience of her husband. References to Buddhism are subtle and appear to be more cultural than religious. About half the film has subtitles. Too subtle and slow moving for children, PICTURE BRIDE is a rewarding glimpse of life through the eyes of a Japanese immigrant woman in the early years off this century.