Keisuke KINOSHITA 木下恵介

Ballad Of Narayama


Nippon Retro   ² 

69-year-old Orin (Kinuyo TANAKA) lives in a poor village with her widowed son and three grandchildren. Once the son plans to remarry, she starts her preparations for a climb to the Narayama mountain, where, following the tradition, old people are brought to die. A deeply melancholic masterpiece of Japanese film that incorporates elements of traditional kabuki theater. The impressive images are bathed in sublime autumnal colors. An unforgettable experience.

Narayama bushiko

Japan 1958

98 minutes


Keisuke KINOSHITA based on a narration by Shichiro FUKAZAWA

Hiroshi KUSUDA

Matsunosuke NOZAWA, Rokuzaemon KINEYA

About Keisuke KINOSHITA

Keisuke KINOSHITA (1912–1998) is considered one of the most important Japanese directors. Starting in 1943, he made popular dramas, comedies, romances, ghost stories and noir films for Studio Shochiku, finding strong images even within conventions. After ARMY (1944), he was not allowed to work until the end of World War II. From 1945 on, the tension between the past and the hope for a new beginning was his central theme. The suffering, responsibility, and moral challenge of the individual are at the heart of many of his dramas. KINOSHITA’s rejection of feudal, militaristic Japan is clearly visible. With CARMEN COMES HOME (1951), he brought the first Japanese color film to the cinema, a summer comedy with serious overtones. KINOSHITA, who also repeatedly addressed the contrast between country and city, is considered the central humanist of post-war Japanese cinema. His sensitively-portrayed characters and their fates continue to touch audiences today.