Flowing (Nagareru)

  • Dir: Naruse Mikio

  • Japan, 1956, 117min, DCP

  • Cast: Yamada Isuzu, Tanaka Kinuyo, Takamine Hideko, Sugimura Haruko

Capturing life in the midst of changing times, Flowing is based on Koda Aya’s remarkable autobiographical novel about women who cohabit a geisha house in decline. The widowed Rika (Tanaka Kinuyo, well known as Mizoguchi’s Oharu) works as a maid in the house run by proud mistress Tsutayako (Yamada Isuzu), who strives to save not only her struggling establishment but also a fading way of life. A complicated portrait about work, traditions and the illusions of female camaraderie, this magnificent and poignant ensemble piece shines with performances by some of Japan’s finest actresses.

#8 in 1956 Kinema Junpo’s Top 10
1957 Blue Ribbon Awards, Best Actress


Lecture: Art Time vs the Time of Capital | Speaker: Chris Fujiwara
(Conducted in English)

Flowing is set mostly inside a geisha house, where Naruse carefully interweaves two contrasting experiences of time. Devoted to art, beauty, and comfort, the protagonists seek to perpetuate the drifting, indefinite feeling of time that belongs to their profession. Their way of life is threatened by intruders and exploiters who bring with them the quick and abrupt temporality of postwar Japan. This discussion will trace the conflict between these two times throughout Flowing.


Package Discount for “Naruse Mikio: Floating, Drifting, Meandering”
– 30% discount to each purchase of standard tickets to ALL 6 sessions, and get a free copy of Naruse Mikio, 110th Anniversary catalogue*; or
– 20% discount to each purchase of 2 or above standard tickets to difference sessions.
* Audience MUST present ALL 6 original tickets of “Naruse Mikio: Floating, Drifting, Meandering” screenings for the catalogue redemption on-site 30 minutes prior to the screening.



1. Unless otherwise stated, all films (except English-speaking films) are subtitled in English.

2. For screenings at ALL commercial cinemas, tickets are available at URBTIX till 5:00pm one day before respective screenings. After that, tickets will be available only at the box office of the screening venue on the day of screening, subject to availability.

3. Screenings at HK Arts Centre, HK Film Archive and Tai Kwun: For screenings that are about to start in 1 hour, all remaining tickets can only be bought at the box offices of the respective screening venues.

4. For the sold-out screenings at HK Arts Centre and HK Film Archive, a limited number of standing tickets are available at the URBTIX Outlets of the respective venues 30 minutes prior to the screening time. Seating is not guaranteed and subject to availability 30 minutes after the screening time. Each person can purchase 1 standing ticket. The availability of standing tickets is subject to change without prior notice.

5. Screenings at HK Science Museum: There is no URBTIX Outlet at the venue. Tickets are available at URBTIX till 1 hour prior to the respective screenings. Door ticket counter opens 30 minutes before the screening. Limited tickets to non-sold out screenings will be available at the door, subject to availability (Cash Only).

6. While it is the HKIFFS’s policy to secure the best possible print of the original version for all its screenings, the HKIFFS will appreciate its patrons’ understanding on occasions when less than perfect screening copies are screened.