Fireflies in the North (1984)
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 125 min | Year: 1984 |  Japan

Set in the icy wilderness of Hokkaido during the early days of the Meiji era, where the brutal warden of Kabato Prison terrorizes convicts sentenced to forced labor to build the roads needed to open up the territory.

More Info:  IMDB | TMDB

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Cheating Notes

Basically, it's about wives who work as geishas in a brothel near a prison for a chance to see their imprisoned husbands or do something to help in their release. We will focus on the main character wife, Yu, and also a lesser character wife, Setsu.

Yu, wife of a political prisoner, goes to the prison with a musical instrument, initially not speaking and not revealing her real identity at first. The warden fucks her. Soon, she is also assigned to the brothel which the warden owns to entertain his important guests.

While one of the important guests is fucking Yu from behind while she's bent over on a table, he tries to convince her to come with him and leave the warden as his career is at a dead end.

Yu and the other wives from the brothel are permitted by the warden to see their husbands. When Yu tells her husband that she's doing everything to get him out of there, he gets it that she's whoring herself and gets disappointed at her. He tells her that he needs no saving as he will try to escape himself and tells her that she should try to kill the warden instead. Well, basically I think Yu's husband doesn't want her anymore because of what she did.

Yu does try to kill the warden but in a not so firm way. Plus, the warden is too skillful for her. In the end, she stays with him as her husband has practically disowned her.

Meanwhile, Setsu, the other wife, is paid off by a deputy warden at the brothel to live with him exclusively. No sex scenes between them but we do see her topless in one of their scenes. In the end, she kills him and escapes to go to the worksite where her husband is being put to work.

The prisoners, including the two wives' husbands, overcome their prisoners at the worksite and are able to escape. Together with Setsu,  they ambush the warden, accompanied by Yu, who is riding behind him in the same horse, and his men. They take them hostages. They traverse the snow and take a rest at a cottage. Here, Setsu and her husband can't control their lust for each other and have sex in front of the men.

One of the prisoners gets horny watching Setsu and her husband have sex so he starts trying to undress and rape Yu. Another prisoner tries top stop him and looks at Yu's husband to order the guy to stop. Yu's husband, however, even tells Yu to take her clothes off so that the horny guy can fuck her. This shows his great hate for his wife for what she did. Yu starts to take her clothes off, with the warden begging her husband to stop what's happening or Yu will kill herself. A brown bear comes and interrupts Yu from undressing and getting fucked.


It's a sad ending. I got touched by the resolve of the wives in trying to do everything, including whoring themselves, for the sake of their husbands. I actually like the doomed fate of the relationship between Yu and the warden. At least, he cared more for her than her prick of a husband, who didn't take into consideration that his wife did her whoring because of him and just shunned her completely.

More Info for Fireflies in the North (1984)

Original / Other Title:  北の螢

 Director:  Hideo Gosha

Genres: Drama

Country:   Japan
Language:  Japanese
Release Date:  1 September 1984

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