Japan 2021

Fallen Blossoms (aka Flowers Have Fallen)

Hana chirinu

An unsung masterpiece with an all-female cast – the story of a Kyoto geisha house.

Image from Fallen Blossoms (aka Flowers Have Fallen)

© 1938 Toho Co Ltd. All rights reserved

Japan 1938
Dir Tamizo Ishida
With Ranko Hanai, Reiko Minakami, Rikie Sanjô, Rumi Ejima
English subtitles

History is viewed as ‘her story’ in this unsung classic, a story of a Kyoto geisha house, which scholar Noel Burch calls ‘one of the most remarkable community portraits ever filmed’. It’s notable for director Ishida’s innovative style, in which shots are almost never repeated, and for its all-female on-screen cast – a phenomenon rare today, let alone in the 1930s.

Print courtesy National Film Archive of Japan.

The screening on Wednesday 3 November will be introduced by Japanese film scholar Alejandra Armendáriz-Hernández.