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“Seishun Zankoku Monogatari (Cruel Story of Youth)” is the second film directed by 28-year-old Nagisa Oshima and, while hardly the year’s best Japanese film, it is nevertheless of more than usual interest. A young girl (Miyuki Kuwano), restless, wanting excitement and experience, takes to accepting rides from men she does not know. A student friend (Yusuke Kawazu) rescues her from the advances of one of the middle-aged drivers but, sensing her vulnerability, takes her on a speed-boat ride and rapes her.

At first he professes to feel little interest in her, partly because he is deeply involved in an affair with an older woman, but gradually his feelings for her deepen. He returns to her, in time to protect her from violence at the hands of young hoodlums.

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