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2 - 15 July 2018: The Naked Island


The Naked Island
Kaneto Shindô
1960 | 96 min | B/W | Digital
Japanese with English subtitles

"The Naked Island is a fascinating early hybridization of documentary and fiction that takes to an important extreme the focus of Shindô’s early films on Japan’s working classes. An epic yet intimate chronicle of the daily lives and struggles of a farmer family on a remote Inland Sea island, Shindô’s internationally celebrated film revitalized the legacy of Flaherty’s Man of Aran and sharply divided Western critics, with the majority embracing Shindô’s poetic ethnography while others, led by Pauline Kael, critiqued the film as prurient exoticism. Today Shindô’s innovative use of non-actors to restage their own lives seems ahead of its time, equally innovative as the film’s use of a lush yet modernist score and near avoidance of dialogue – another remarkable updating and reinvention of Flaherty’s literary realism." – Harvard Film Archive

Part of our season on Kaneto Shindô