===Story=== The first feature by Hawaii-born filmmaker Kayo Hatta, 1995's ''Picture Bride'' takes us into unexplored story territory in its tale of a young Japanese woman (Youki Kudoh of Jim Jarmusch's ''Mystery Train'') who leaves her home in 1918 to become the mail-order wife of a sugar plantation laborer (Akira Takayama) in Honolulu. Her first shock is discovering that her husband is actually 20 years older than his photograph; after that, life just becomes hard as the intensity and dangers of plantation work eclipse all joy. Hatta achieves an admirable authenticity in her portrait of the island community and the ghosts it (literally) harbors; she also gives us a strong sense of racial and class divisions that crackle like live wires through Oahu's booming industries at the start of the century. Tamlyn Tomita is excellent as the woman who becomes Kudoh's closest ally and friend in this new world, and the late Toshirô Mifune has a memorable, small part as a traveling narrator of silent films. This is an original, fascinating, and touching work. ''--Tom Keogh''
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