The life of little Midori ( Risa Nakamura ) hasn’t had much beauty to offer for a long time. She has never had a father. Since the death of her mother, the girl has been sitting on the streets without her parents and penniless, trying to make ends meet by selling camellias. But then her life takes an unexpected turn when she is forced to join a circus. She doesn’t fare much better there at first, the circus people abuse and taunts her whenever the opportunity arises. Only when the magician Masamitsu ( Shunsuke Kazama ) shows up and falls in love with her does the tide turn. Because he uses every means to help his beloved – and would stop at nothing to do it.
The news ripped through the world that Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, the last great traditional American circus, would close its tents forever. It is debatable whether this has more to do with the increased sensitivity to animal welfare or with the fact that this form of entertainment has long since lost its exotic factor. What is striking, however, is how much the circus appears in films as a place removed from the world, either because it was snatched from time (and color) as in Blancanieves – A Tale of Black and White. Be it because it became a place of horror in films like Strange Circus or Mad Circus.
Midori – The Camellia Girl is a little bit of both, although, unlike the award-winning Spanish silent film, it uses both language and color. Many, many colors even. The bright yellow dress by Midori, for example, which is offset with red dots. And the circus also likes to use the possibilities that the rainbow offers. Despite this blaze of colour, the film is not suitable for children. Under no circumstances, at any time. Sex and violence are part of everyday life in Midori’s new home, and there is also psychological abuse.