Mermaid Legend

July 20, 2024
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Ningyo Densetsu

40th Anniversary. Elemental and mythic, Mermaid Legend exudes a lyrical melancholia for the dying way of life of seafaring fishermen and ama divers. Set in a coastal fishing hamlet, Toshiharu Ikeda’s eco thriller finds the incursive grasp of industrialization and corporate greed encroaching on natural realms. Migiwa (Mari Shirato), an ama diver who plunges the azure depths for abalone in the heat of summer, becomes entangled in a redevelopment scheme involving powerful local figures and yakuza when her husband is killed for witnessing a murder. Battered and left for dead, the pearl diver plans her vengeance on those who wronged her to devastating effect. Incurring a siren’s sanguinary wrath—one which can only be described as a sheer force of nature—the elegiac Mermaid Legend is a brooding requiem for loss, a cautionary parable for man’s true acquiescence to the natural world. 

Dir. Toshiharu Ikeda, 1984, 110 min., DCP, color, in Japanese with English subtitles. With Mari Shirato, Jun Eto, Kentaro Shimizu.

Classics Bundle: Purchase tickets to all three films in our Classics Section (August in the Water, Mermaid Legend, Moving) to save $3 on each ticket. Tickets for all three films must be purchased at the same time for bundle savings.

Part of JAPAN CUTS: Festival of New Japanese Film 2024
July 10—21, 2024

JAPAN CUTS is the largest showcase of contemporary Japanese cinema in North America and an annual highlight of New York’s cinema scene.

Image: © 1984 WFIELD INC./TOHO CO., LTD.

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, Anime NYC 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 Prince Kitano New York, the official hotel sponsor of Japan Society Film.

  • Saturday, July 20, 2024
  • 8:30 pm
  • In-Person Event
  • Reserved Tickets
  • $20 Nonmembers
  • $14 Members
  • $18 Seniors/Students
  • $18 Person with Disability

Inclusive of fees, where applicable.