Con artists in movies are typically likeable rogues who prey on the deserving. The title character of Yuichi Hibi’s “Erica 38,” who is neither “Erica” nor “38,” is closer to the unlikable reality: A woman who dupes others with no discernible guilt or remorse, even when her victims are on the verge of ruin or suicide. She takes lovers, but the only thing she trusts is cold, hard cash.
Based on actual events, the film is something of a dark docudrama that depicts the protagonist’s rise and fall with no moralizing or tear-wringing.
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