• Japan
  • 1963
  • 123 minutes
  • Black and White
  • 2.35:1
  • Japanese
  •  
  • Spine #473

Born in a rural farming village in 1918, Tomé survives decades of Japanese social upheaval, as well as abuse and servitude at the hands of various men. Yet Shohei Imamura, ever the cinematic “entomologist,” refuses to make a victim of her, instead observing Tomé (played by the extraordinary Sachiko Hidari) as a fascinating, pragmatic creature of twentieth-century Japan. A portrait of opportunism and resilience in three generations of women, The Insect Woman is Imamura’s most expansive film, and Tomé his ultimate heroine.

Cast

Rui MatsukiKeiko Aizawa
Midori TaniMasumi Harukawa
Tome MatsukiSachiko Hidari
Kane SakashitaEmiko Azuma
Yoshiji Kanbayashi Daizaburo Hirata
KarasawaSeizaburo Kawazu
Rin MatsukiTeruko Kishi
Suma Kanie Tanie Kitabayashi
Chuji MatsukiKazuo Kitamura
Sawakichi MatsukiAsao Koike
En’s lover (Onogawa)Masakazu Kuwayama

Credits

Disc Features

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer
  • Conversation between Shohei Imamura and critic Tadao Sato about the film
  • Interview with critic and historian Tony Rayns
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film critics Dennis Lim

Film Essays

The Insect Woman: Learning to Crawl

By Dennis Lim May 20, 2009

Iconoclasts are meant to kill their idols, and so it’s fitting that Shohei Imamura launched into his career as if on a patricidal rampage. Like Nagisa Oshima, the other towering figure of the . . . Read more »

Film Essays

The Insect Woman: Learning to Crawl

By Dennis Lim May 20, 2009

Iconoclasts are meant to kill their idols, and so it’s fitting that Shohei Imamura launched into his career as if on a patricidal rampage. Like Nagisa Oshima, the other towering figure of the . . . Read more »


Video