A Story Written on Water
(Mizu de kakareta monogatari)

Kiju Yoshida and Mariko Okada in Person
Screening on Film
$10 Special Event Tickets
Directed by Kiju Yoshida.
With Mariko Okada, Yasunori Irikawa, Rurukio Asaoka.
Japan, 1965, 35mm, black & white, 120 min.
Japanese with English subtitles.
Print source: National Film Center, Japan

Yoshida's first film made independently after his departure from Shochiku inaugurated his celebrated cycle of edgy and stylistically dazzling "anti-melodramas," each starring the incomparable Mariko Okada and all challenging the Japanese melodrama's conventional focus on family and suffering womanhood. A feverish tale of a son's troubled relationship with his radiantly beautiful mother—played with devastating grace by Okada—A Story Written on Water introduced a new psychological complexity into Yoshida's films, using its poetically charged flashback structure to explore the interwoven patterns of memory and unspoken desire. In A Story Written on Water, as in all of Yoshida's anti-melodramas, the woman portrayed by Okada possesses a power and presence that she herself cannot quite understand, an instinctually anti-patriarchal force embodied in her stunning, almost otherworldly pulchritude.

Introduction and Q&A featuring Haden Guest, Kiju Yoshida, and Mariko Okada. (transcript forthcoming)

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Art Cinema, Counter Cinema: The Cinema of Kiju Yoshida and Mariko Okada

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