Shohei Imamura

The Insect Woman

The Insect Woman

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.

Film Info

  • Shohei Imamura
  • Japan
  • 1963
  • 123 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 2.35:1
  • Japanese
  • Spine #473

Special 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

Available In

Collector's Set

Pigs, Pimps & Prostitutes: 3 Films by Shohei Imamura

Pigs, Pimps & Prostitutes

DVD Box Set

3 Discs

$63.96

Special 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
The Insect Woman
Cast
Keiko Aizawa
Rui Matsuki
Masumi Harukawa
Midori Tani
Sachiko Hidari
Tome Matsuki
Emiko Azuma
Kane Sakashita
Daizaburo Hirata
Yoshiji Kanbayashi
Seizaburo Kawazu
Karasawa
Teruko Kishi
Rin Matsuki
Tanie Kitabayashi
Suma Kanie
Kazuo Kitamura
Chuji Matsuki
Asao Koike
Sawakichi Matsuki
Masakazu Kuwayama
En’s lover (Onogawa)
Credits
Director
Shohei Imamura
Screenplay
Keiji Hasebe
Screenplay
Shohei Imamura
Cinematography
Shinsaku Himeda
Editing
Mutsuo Tanji
Art direction
Kimihiko Nakamura
Music
Toshiro Mayuzumi

From The Current

Wes Anderson’s Top 10

“I thought my take on a top-ten list might be to simply quote myself from the brief fan letters I periodically write to the Criterion Collection team.” His selections were, unsurprisingly, delightful.


Oct 6, 2010
The Insect Woman: Learning to Crawl

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 Japanese New Wave, Imamura (1926–2006) rejected the or…

By Dennis Lim


May 21, 2009
Getting to the Bottom of Imamura
Getting to the Bottom of Imamura

With its madcap mixture of the political and the, uh, porcine, Shohei Imamura’s Pigs and Battleships is a strange (and strangely satisfying) beast indeed. To better understand where the director was coming from when he made this breakthrough work, …


May 21, 2009