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Memoirs of a Geisha

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Memoirs of a Geisha

I remembered when this movie came out and won many awards for its cinematography and costume design, but I couldn't remember if I had ever seen it. It seemed to me an authentic portrayal of a honored tradition in changing Japan. This film was the story of one orphaned girls life living behind the scenes in a Geisha house. This was a time period where Geishas were honored, revered even, and a major part of the delicate balance of culture, religion and tradition in Japan. However, with the onset of World War II, just as the world was changing greatly, so was Japan. Our main character who has trained and finally become a Geisha, finds herself lost in a sea of Western traditions and American soldiers. The beauty and simplicity, the honor and reverence of the Geisha, forgotten for the fun, flirty personalities with loose morals floating over from the United States. Not only is the world changing but our main character changes. Her life is a life of pain and sadness, aspirations and a lot of unfulfilled desires. She has had many people lead her astray and betray her. At the end of the film, she finds herself betraying one of her oldest friends all for a childhood fantasy. The themes of this movie that stood out were tradition, change, betrayal, unrequited love and discovery of self. It was a very beautiful film that showed once again the power of influence of the United States.