The Ballad of Narayama (1958) (Narayama bushiko)

  • Dir: Kinoshita Keisuke

  • Japan, 1958, 98min, DCP

  • Cast: Tanaka Kinuyo, Takahashi Teiji, Mochizuki Yuko

Imamura Shohei’s better-known and prize-winning 1983 vision of The Ballad of Narayama engages us with the intensity of its human dramas in counterpoint to the natural world around it. By contrast, Kinoshita Keisuke’s earlier interpretation of this story creates a completely different world, shaped by the director’s absolute control of a stylized soundstage, its colors, music and actions before its dramatic shift to the mountain landscape where old people are left to die. The film evoked the ambience of Kabuki with theatrical movement, music and color, yet Kinoshita juxtaposes his tightly controlled initial exposition to a wilder, emotive natural scenario where the inevitable ending transpires. Here, Orin (Tanaka Kinuyo), who binds the designed world of theater and naturalistic vision of cinema in a powerful, human experience is not to be missed.

1959 #1 in Kinema Junpo’s Top 10
1959 Kinema Junpo Awards, Best Film, Best Director and Best Actress

2.9.2018(SUN): Post-screening talk with Long Tin


  • Restored Classics

    Full House 02/09/2018 (Sun)
    Full House 06/10/2018 (Sat)


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

2. Screenings at HK Science Museum: There is no URBTIX Outlet at the venue. Tickets are available at URBTIX till one hour prior to 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).

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