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MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA (article first published : 2007-08-7)

Appearing in M-Net’s Monday Night Premier slot on August 13 at 20h30 is Memoirs of a Geisha. The sumptuous epic focuses on a young Asian girl who is groomed to be a geisha, a woman whose seductive skills are sought after by men with money.

Directed in 2005 by Rob Marshall and based on the novel by Arthur Golden, Memoirs of a Geisha stars Ziyi Zhang, Ken Watanabe, Michelle Yeoh and Gong Li. The film has won three Oscars, three Baftas, a Golden Globe and a Grammy, to name but a few.

Featuring feisty heroines in fabulous costumes fighting for the honour of being the best geisha, the sumptuous Memoirs of a Geisha is set in Japan in the turbulent 1930s and 1940s. It features some of today’s biggest Chinese stars. Ziyi Zhang plays Chiyo, a young girl whose impoverished father sells her (and her sister) on the human market in Kyoto. Chiyo ends up in a geisha house, where she incurs the wrath of Hatsumomo (Gong Li), the house’s best geisha, who instinctively sees the child as a future threat. Chiyo also befriends The Chairman, a kindly businessman, and Pumpkin, another young geisha-in-the-making.

As Chiyo grows up, she finds another geisha, Mameyo, taking a special interest in her, while Hatsumomo focuses her attention on Pumpkin. It soon becomes apparent that the geisha who can produce the best new geisha will have the best chance of becoming the house’s new “madam”. Next thing, Chiyo, who is still a virgin, finds herself being sold to the highest bidder …




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