Tokyo native Jumpei takes a trip to a remote seaside village to study sand insects. Missing the last bus home, he accepts an offer from the villagers to stay for the night in the home of a young woman, who lives at the bottom of a sand pit which can only be reached by ladder. The next morning, he wakes to find the ladder has been removed and the villagers now expect him to assist the woman in her never-ending task of digging out the sand pit before it swallows them alive. Hiroshi Teshigahara was a rare non-American director to receive a Best Director Oscar nomination for this gripping fable, based on the novel by Kōbō Abe.
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“A perfect union of subject, style and idea” – Roger Ebert