Image of a Mother

May 31, 2024
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『母のおもかげ 』
Haha no Omokage

New English Subtitles by Japan Society. The final film in the thirty-plus year career of Hiroshi Shimizu, Image of a Mother returns to the familiar subject matter of child and parent, a favorite preoccupation of the master filmmaker. Young Michio, the son of a recently-widowed water bus driver, clings to the memory of his late mother, treasuring a passenger pigeon she gifted him shortly before passing. His well-meaning father Sadao, under pressure to remarry, finds a suitable partner in the gentle Sonoko (Chikage Awashima) who has a young daughter of her own. As his new stepmother enters his life, Michio’s discomfort arises from the pressures around him to forget his dead mother and call his new stepparent “Mom.” Despite its weepy leanings, Image of a Mother is expertly handled in Shimizu’s hands, saturated in the boy’s inner turmoil which culminates in a crushing boiling point. A rare scope feature from Shimizu filled with his gliding camerawork, his final feature forms a fitting farewell to a career so devoted to the lives of the misunderstood.

Dir. Hiroshi Shimizu, 1959, 89 min., DCP, b&w, in Japanese with English subtitles. With Jun Negami, Chikage Awashima, Bontaro Miake.

Part of the John and Miyoko Davey Classic Film Series
Hiroshi Shimizu – Part II: The Postwar and Independent Years
May 16—June 1, 2024


Hiroshi Shimizu is co-presented with Museum of the Moving Image, the National Film Archive of Japan, and Japan Foundation, New York.

Hiroshi Shimizu – Part II: The Independent and Postwar Years is generously supported by The John and Miyoko Davey Endowment Fund for Classic Japanese Film.

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 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, May 31, 2024
  • 9:30 pm
  • In-Person Event
  • Reserved Tickets
  • $16 Nonmembers
  • $12 Members
  • $14 Seniors/Students
  • $14 Person with Disability

There is an additional $1.50 service charge for all non-member ticket types purchased.