Sure enough, alone after dark, Yamene is confronted by a procession of creepy dwarf-size spirits and a tall humanoid creature wearing a rectangular mask with glowing ruby eyes. Yamene initially freaks out but ends up wrestling the larger spirit and seizing the mask.
Hubby’s macho reaction to his wife’s return leads to an inspired prank. With the help of a female friend (whose hubby neglects her and is about to take a second, teenage wife), Yamene dons the imposing mask at a village get-together and poses as the no-nonsense spirit everyone fears. She lays down the new social order with booming authority: From now on, men and women are to trade places. The men will do the grunt work of hauling water, cooking and cleaning, while the women will switch from wraparound skirts to men’s clothing and take it easy in the shade.
The guys figure out right away that a woman’s work is never done, but they’re afraid to buck the spirit’s instructions. As the men reconsider their past behavior, Yamene’s adorable daughter greets and hides a young woman who stumbles into town covered with scrapes and bruises, claiming that if she doesn’t get the mask back, there will be terrible consequences. But Yamene needs the mask to enforce the new system of women running the show.
Final resolution is a bit long in coming, but basic premise and its exploration of the abuse of power is solidly entertaining. Polished lensing in sun-drenched village is gorgeous, other tech credits pro, and music and sound design are fine.