Kaneto Shindo

The Naked Island

The Naked Island

Director Kaneto Shindo’s documentary-like, dialogue-free portrayal of daily struggle is a work of stunning visual beauty and invention. The international breakthrough for one of Japan’s most innovative filmmakers—who went on to make other unique masterworks such as Onibaba and KuronekoThe Naked Island follows a family whose home is on a tiny, remote island in the Japanese archipelago. They must row a great distance to another shore, collect water from a well in buckets, and row back to their island—a nearly backbreaking task essential for the survival of these people and their land. Featuring a phenomenal modernist score by Hikaru Hayashi, this is a truly hypnotic experience, with a rhythm unlike that of any other film.

Film Info

  • Kaneto Shindo
  • Japan
  • 1960
  • 96 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 2.35:1
  • Japanese
  • Spine #811

Special Features

  • New, high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Video introduction by director Kaneto Shindo, recorded for a 2011 retrospective of his work
  • Audio commentary recorded in 2000, featuring Shindo and composer Hikaru Hayashi
  • New appreciation of the film by actor Benicio Del Toro
  • New interview with film scholar Akira Mizuta Lippit
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: An essay by film scholar Haden Guest
    New cover by Vivienne Flesher

Purchase Options

Special Features

  • New, high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Video introduction by director Kaneto Shindo, recorded for a 2011 retrospective of his work
  • Audio commentary recorded in 2000, featuring Shindo and composer Hikaru Hayashi
  • New appreciation of the film by actor Benicio Del Toro
  • New interview with film scholar Akira Mizuta Lippit
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: An essay by film scholar Haden Guest
    New cover by Vivienne Flesher
The Naked Island
Cast
Nobuko Otowa
Toyo, the mother
Taiji Tonoyama
Senta, the father
Shinji Tanaka
Taro, the elder son
Masanori Horimoto
Jiro, the younger son
Credits
Director
Kaneto Shindo
Produced by
Eisaku Matsuura
Produced by
Kaneto Shindo
Screenplay by
Kaneto Shindo
Director of photography
Kiyomi Kuroda
Editor
Toshio Enoki
Music by
Hikaru Hayashi
Sound by
Kunie Maruyama

From The Current

The Naked Island: Kaneto Shindo’s Daring Experiment
The Naked Island: Kaneto Shindo’s Daring Experiment

In the late 1950s, when Shindo chose to create a nearly dialogue-free portrait of a family living on a remote island, he was taking a great chance, putting the fate of his struggling production company Kindai Eiga Kyokai on the line.

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The Naked Island: The Silence of the Sea
The Naked Island: The Silence of the Sea

Juxtaposing a vision of a stark, primitive existence on a remote Japanese island with that country’s vast twentieth-century modernization, Kaneto Shindo reveals Japan’s postwar paradoxes and makes a case for its essential, immutable character.

By Haden Guest

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