Ninko (Masato Tsujioka) is just a dedicated monk who desires to live out his days committing himself to the teachings of Buddha. The only problem? Women (and some men) keep throwing themselves at him. The arthouse-spin on this familiar premise in Suffering of Ninko is perhaps best represented in one 10-minute sequence of a woman twisting and contorting herself around the sullen monk as he tries to collect donations. First-time director Norihiro Niwatsukino sets a modest goal for his narrative; the film never strays too far from its central premise and it wraps up neatly at around the 70-minute mark. Suffering of Ninko is a briskly told story of old-world religious discipline butting heads with a more modern sexuality.
Published as part of New York Asian Film Festival | Dispatch 2.