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The Naked Island (1960)

Hadaka no shima (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 10 September 1962 (USA)
A family of four are the sole inhabitants of a small island, where they struggle each day to irrigate their crops.

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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 3 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
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Toyo, the mother
...
Senta, the father
Shinji Tanaka ...
Tarô - the elder son
Masanori Horimoto ...
Jirô - the younger son
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Storyline

Deals with the intolerably hard life of a family of four, the only inhabitants of a very small Japanese island in the Setonaikai archipelago. Several times a day they row over to the neighboring island to fetch water for their miserable fields. Written by Michael Jurich <jurich@rummelplatz.uni-mannheim.de>

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Drama

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Not Rated | See all certifications »

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10 September 1962 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Island  »

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2.35 : 1
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There is no dialogue for the first 37 minutes, 50 seconds. See more »

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Referenced in Nihon eiga no hyaku nen (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Reminds of a harsh life in the old days
16 July 2009 | by See all my reviews

Naked Island or Hadaka no Shima is a movie made by director Kaneto Shindo after he directed the movie Number 5 Lucky Dragon which was semi documentary about a ship that was hit by a nuclear fall out while fishing in the pacific ocean. Shindo has a theme to his movie and this one is no exception.

A family consisting of mother, father and two boys makes a daily ferrying of water from the mainland to an island to water their farm. There are no machinery to help with their farming, and the farm is situated on a steep slope. Every day the family struggles to care for their farm, except for few days out of the year they take a break for a time out in town.

The movie having no dialog was highly experimental, and no movie studio was willing to take on this project, so Shindo self financed the five million yen project out of his own pocket. There're not many actors in this movie except for the four people in the family, and the movie was made by a staff of 13 people. The project no movie studio wanted to touch won the grand prize at the Moscow movie festival that year and was shown in 66 countries around the world. Author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn quoted that this is the most moving movie he's ever seen.

The movie is a reminder of how harsh a life can be if there is no enterprising society to forward the standards of living. The premise of the movie is little unrealistic because I don't think you can actually shuttle enough water by foot and a row boat to cultivate a farm. If I were them, I'd look around to see if there's a place suitable for perma culture.

Shot in the back drop of Seto inland ocean in Japan, the scenery of this movie is stunningly beautiful. Music by Mitsuru Hayashi is also beautiful. I wish I had access to the DVD released in Japan where the director's commentary is available on the bonus track ( it is available from Amazon.co.jp ).

Nobuko Otowa who played the mother in this movie went on to make many other movie and TV drama including the now famous Oshin series. Otowa later marries the director of this movie Kaneto Shindo in 1978 after Shindo's first wife passed away. Otowa and Shindo were a team since she made her film debut in 1951, and they had a long relationship until her death in 1994.


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