The Ballad of Narayama (1983, Japan)


Director: Imamura Shohei
Duration: 130 minutes
Language: Japanese
Subtitles: Chinese and English

Palme d’Or at Cannes Film Festival, 1983
Picture of the Year by the Japan Academy Film Prize, 1984
Best Actor in a Leading Role by the Japan Academy Film Prize, 1984


In a poor rural village in northern Japan, everyone who reaches the age of 70 has to be carried to the Mountain Narayama by their children and abandoned there to die even if they are still strong, in order to save food and cope with poverty.

Orin, still strong at 69, is approaching her inevitable trip to the mountain. However she is worried that his son Tatsuhei may be scorned by the villagers if he does not dare to carry his old mother to the mountainlike his father. To prod him, Orin deliberately knocks off her front teeth.

In the early morning, with Orin on his back, Tatsuhei walks up to Mountain Narayama, where human bones pile up. The son reluctantly bids farewell to his mother and returns to the village. As heavy snow falls, Orin silently waits for death on the mountain.

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Categories: Group D (Restricted to audience aged 18 and above)


Guest Speaker

Eric Chau

Macao writer and novelist