A Story Written with Water

December 8, 2023
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Film past event

Co-presented with Film at Lincoln Center as part of The Radical Cinema of Kijū Yoshida (December 1-8, 2023); Presented in partnership with the Japan Foundation, New York.

Introduction by Ethan Spigland, Professor of Humanities & Media Studies, Pratt University

Mizu De Kakareta Monogatari

Imported 35mm Print. Bearing a title inspired by John Keats’s epitaph and taken from the Yojiro Ishizaka novel it adapts, Yoshida’s first independent film is a startling affair, depicting the unbreakable love of mother and child. On the eve of his marriage, young Shizuo finds himself torn between his fiancée and the single mother who raised him. Having led a sacrificial life, laying aside personal happiness for her beloved son, Shizuo’s radiant mother (Mariko Okada) suffers silently, as the entanglement of unspoken dreams and desires floods in. Led by its striking visual language that frames Okada’s otherworldly beauty in veiled compositions, Yoshida’s abstracted josei eiga speaks to the pains of womanhood and the relinquishment of umbilical bonds—an exploration of the forgotten lives of women lived under the phantom of Japan’s imperial patriarchy.

Dir. Kiju Yoshida, 1965, 35mm, b&w, in Japanese with English subtitles. With Mariko Okada, Yasunori Irikawa, Ruriko Asaoka. Score by Toshi Ichiyanagi.

Print courtesy of the National Film Archive of Japan.

© Nikkatsu.

Japan Society programs are made possible by leadership support from Booth Ferris Foundation, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature. Film programs are generously supported by ORIX Corporation USA, public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and Yen Press. Endowment support is provided by the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Endowment Fund and The John and Miyoko Davey Endowment Fund. Additional season support is provided by The Globus Family, David Toberisky, and Friends of Film. Transportation assistance is provided by Japan Airlines, the official Japanese airline sponsor of Japan Society Film. Housing assistance is provided by the Kitano Hotel, the official hotel sponsor of Japan Society Film.

  • Friday, December 8, 2023
  • 6:00 pm
  • In-Person Event
  • Reserved Tickets
  • $16 Nonmembers
  • $12 Members
  • $14 Seniors/Students
  • $14 Person with Disability