...life can be translucent


Hexagrams in "Woman in the Dunes"


Apr 21, 2010
Reaction score
Hi everybody,

I had heard very good things about this Japanese movie Woman in the Dunes. So I was watching it the other night, and I keep thinking of I Ching hexagrams.

I really recommend this movie, so if you want to watch it, don't read what's below until you've seen it because it reveals plot details.

A man goes to the desert to collect insects and ends up getting trapped in a sand dune. A woman lives down there. She feels very much at home in the "pit", while the man struggles and tries hard to escape. But it's useless.

Actually, he's trapped because people from the local village took away the rope ladder and he's now forced to toil in the pit alongside the woman.

He and the woman live together in a shack (37. Household). She embodies "perseverence of the woman furthers" in the sense that even when he is out of control and wild, she remains gentle and kind and looks after the needs of the man and the household.

They become lovers and in the love scene the woman became even more yin than usual. Making for a very passionate scene. (44. Coupling?)

At one point he escapes from the pit but gets caught in quicksand. The villagers rescue him but drag him back to the dune (29. Repeating Pit).

There's a wild scene where the villagers rally around the edge of the pit and try to make him betray his and the woman's dignity. The viewer hopes he will do something like 36. Darken the Light. "There is some humiliation but no blame."

Eventually, 48. The Well makes an appearance in a literal way, but it is at this point in the story that the man becomes grounded and begins to relate to the pit as a place. He develops a sense of shared interest.

The way he ends up dealing with the pit is not through filling it and flowing out of it but through flowing with his fate. So he finally comes to a kind of acceptance of the pit.

A great movie! Simple and yet powerful.

Can you think of other movies where hexagrams jump out at you?


Office 17622,
PO Box 6945,
United Kingdom

Phone/ Voicemail:
+44 (0)20 3287 3053 (UK)
+1 (561) 459-4758 (US).