When a Woman Ascends the Stairs (Onna ga kaidan o agaru toki)

  • Dir: Naruse Mikio

  • Japan, 1960, 111min, DCP

  • Cast: Takamine Hideko, Mori Masayuki, Nakadai Tatsuya, Dan Reiko

Naruse’s recurrent themes of feminine perseverance and life’s uncertainties culminate in arguably his most exquisite film. Set in Ginza’s bustling alleyways, the film follows young widow Keiko (Takamine Hideko), a senior bar hostess, as she attempts to remain resilient in the face of financial difficulty, a self-serving family and a series of devastating betrayals. Although caught between traditional and modern ideals, Keiko never fails to maintain an appearance of calm determination under great personal suffering. In portraying her internal travails through everyday events, this is an ultimate tribute to the “consummate Naruse heroine” (Judy Bloch).

7.12.2018(FRI): Lecture with Kiki FUNG
Conducted in Cantonese

Further Readings
The Comings and Goings of Mikio Naruse by Adrian Martin (August 2007)

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. 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.