Cinema: Driven by Uncontrollable Passions A TAXING WOMAN

Directed and Written by Juzo Itami

Her freckles are utterly disarming. She enhances their effect by wearing her hair in a girlish bob. Her round brown eyes seem to be perpetually widened in astonishment at the inventiveness that people lavish on wicked enterprises. In short, Ryoko Itakura (Nobuko Miyamoto) does not fit anyone's image of a tax collector. But in her case, appearances are usefully deceptive. They camouflage a spirit demonically dedicated to exposing the cheating heart of the all-too-typical taxpayer.

Hideki Gondo (Tsutomu Yamazaki) is her dark double, a crippled, spidery man whose vast real estate portfolio includes a chain of notorious hot-sheet hotels. Gondo's outward...

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