I was really conflicted while watching this movie. Part of me really wanted him to escape, but the other part of me really wanted him to stay with her. In the end, I guess I sort of got both. The Woman in the Dunes is about a teacher go goes to the dunes to collect bugs and ends up getting kidnapped by local villagers and forced to stay in this house at the bottom of a sand pit with this woman, so that he can help her with her job of shoveling sand. Naturally, he is pissed off at first and ties her up, but eventually he unties her and they wind up sleeping together. I felt really bad for the woman because even though it is clear that she is interested in the outside world (she is obsessed with getting a radio and constantly finds reasons to bring up Tokyo), she refuses to leave because her husband and daughter are buried somewhere in the sand. So in the scene when he manages to escape, I can't help but feel bad for her even though I was happy that he found a way out of that sand pit. Unfortunately for him, he winds up getting lost, falling in some quicksand, and gets rescued by his kidnappers who make him go back in the sand pit. He is still obsessed with escaping, and even makes a crow trap so that he can tie a message to its leg, but his crow trap ends up pumping water from underground, and even though he is trying to leave, he works to make it better. In the end, we find out that she is about to have a child (I don't know why she would keep that a secret because surely that would give him a reason to stay), so the villagers lift her out of the sand pit, and accidentally leave the rope ladder down. I felt so bad for her when they were lifting her out of the pit. She
kept saying "No" over and over again and you could just tell that she
was terrified of both leaving the pit, and that he might escape again. The man does climb up the rope ladder and spends some time by the sea, but climbs back down in the pit and we find out that he is still there seven years later. This movie reminded me a little of Pedro Almodovar's "Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!" Both kidnap victims escape, but they end up returning to their kidnappers. Throughout this movie, I was never really sure if the man actually cared for the woman, especially during the rather disturbing scene when he tries to rape her in front of all of the villagers because that's the only way that would let him see the sea for an hour. In the end though, you can tell that he does care for her.