Dogra Magra

Toshie Mori toshie.mori at
Thu Jun 22 10:10:36 EDT 2006

Dear Alex,

They are very reasonable questions! What a coincidence! I saw the film a
little while ago.

Dogra Magra was based on a famous novel written in 1935 by Yumeno Kyusaku
and it was his last work that took him almost ten years to complete. The
plot is really long and consists of the complex pros and cons. It might be
important to read the original novel because it will be understood that the
film is a short version of the original story. Unfortunately in the film the
important contexts are lost, which was criticised by some critics.

Then it is wondered how far we can answer the questions you have posed.
There are at least two significant characteristics to the clues. Firstly the
last part of the novel comes the first sequence in the film that
consequently denies the simple scheme of the filmic plot. Secondly Dogura
Magura is presented in the film in the form of the novel written by the main
character so that the construction of the novel itself has also become
uncertain, like the effect of the mirror in the mirror. In fact the
construction of the novel develops in a more complicated way than the film.
Interestingly it is said that the person who has managed to read the whole
would become insane.

In order to answer all the questions that you have asked you had better read
the novel but the aftermath of your reading would be disastrous! So you
cannot still get the answer!
(In fact it's fun to read it as I did!!!)

Additionally the actor, who played the role of Dr. Masaki used to be a very
talented kansai based rakugo-ka but unfortunately he committed suicide
because of his serious depression a few years ago.

Toshie Mori

 ----Original Message-----
From: owner-KineJapan at
[mailto:owner-KineJapan at]On Behalf Of Alexander
Sent: Thursday, June 22, 2006 10:22 PM
To: KineJapan at
Subject: Dogra Magra

  Dear All,

  Having just watched Toshio Matsumoto's Dogra Magra, I wonder how people on
the list have reacted to it and how much of the story people think is real.
In Matsumoto's early Pandemonium / Shura, there are many scenes where the
director plays tricks with the viewer so that's it's initially confusing as
to whether a particular scene is supposed to have really happened, or be
taken as fantasy (an example the murder of the young couple early in the
film). In Pandemonium, however, these issues are usually resolved so that by
the end of the film one knows basically what has happened. Dogra Magra is
not like this, since the film is seen from the perspective of an amnesiac.
I'm wondering how much of the narrative one can have any confidence in at
all. My basic questions are:

  1) How many people, if any, were really murdered - when and where?
  2) Who by? Is the young man really guilty either of the murder shown in
the flashback, or of the one which allegedly took place inside the asylum?
  3) Is the young man really the person who the doctors claim he is?
  4) Is it possible that the whole incident has been fabricated by the
doctors for their own purposes? - ie experimental research?

  If people feel that the answer to all these questions is, We don't know,
and that's the point of the film, then fair enough. But I'm wondering if I
may have missed some subtle clues as to which of the events we're to
interpret as really real!



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