Seconds later, both are dead, each impaled on a spear that erupts from the reeds. The owners of the spears, two women, one in her late teens, one in her late thirties, enter the clearing and strip the men of their arms and armour, pack it up in baskets. Then they drag the bodies to a gaping pit and dump them. Then they just get on with their day. After they've had some food and a nap, the women take the arms to an arms dealer who sits in a cave, and exchange them for bags of millet.
This is their everyday life. They live in a world of damp and sweat. Soldiers stray into their fields of reeds and the pit grows ever more full of corpses, picked clean quickly and efficiently by the crows. If they're lucky, they might find a dog they can catch and kill, but their life depends on stolen arms from murdered soldiers.
|In the pit.|
Hachi tells the young woman that there are no demons. But then, one of the first things he says after he reappears is that it's hard to kill a man, and as the film demonstrates, he's wrong about that, too.
Everything is wrong.
I'm not sure I enjoyed Onibaba all that much. I mean, I am pretty sure I'll watch it again. I recognised it as a good film, focussed, well scripted, well directed, well acted. Its soundtrack, all drums and screams, deserves a special mention; it is urgent, discordant, it sets your teeth on edge. Something is wrong here, it says. Everything is wrong.