Japan • 1958 • 98 minutes • Color • 2.35:1 • Japanese
This haunting, kabuki-inflected version of a Japanese folk legend is set in a remote mountain village, where food is scarce and tradition dictates that citizens who have reached their seventieth year must be carried to the summit of Mount Narayama and left there to die. The sacrificial elder at the center of the tale is Orin (Kinuyo Tanaka), a dignified and dutiful woman who spends her dwindling days securing the happiness of her loyal widowed son with a respectable new wife. Filmed almost entirely on cunningly designed studio sets, in brilliant color and widescreen, The Ballad of Narayama is a stylish and vividly formal work from Japan’s cinematic golden age, directed by the dynamic Keisuke Kinoshita.
- New 4K digital master from the 2011 restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
- Trailer and teaser
- New English subtitle translation
- PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Philip Kemp