The Song of Bwana Toshi
(Bwana Toshi no uta)

Screening on Film
Directed by Susumu Hani.
With  Kiyoshi Atsumi, Hamisi Salehe, Tsutomu Shimomoto.
Japan, 1965, 35mm, color, 99 min.
Japanese with English subtitles.

After achieving meteoric critical (and in a few cases commercial) success in Japan, Hani set out on an international odyssey, directing in distant locations around the world – Peru (The Bride of the Andes), Italy and Africa, each time making films about the Japanese (mis)perception of the world, and vice-versa. Arriving in Kenya very shortly after the country had been liberated from British colonial rule, Hani directed one of his more personal films, the tale of a high-strung Japanese geological engineer pursuing work in East Africa to escape from family troubles back home. Hani's rapturous fascination with the African landscape, culture and animals is apparent in the many ways The Song of Bwana Toshi emphasizes Nature's dramatic, larger presence. Indeed, the film anticipated Hani's return to Africa shortly after to direct a incredibly popular series of nature documentaries for Japanese television. Hani would return again for his last feature, Africa Story (1981) starring Hollywood great Jimmy Stewart.

Part of film series

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As if Our Eyes Were in Our Hands: The Films of Susumu Hani