The cast of Sound of the Mountain ©1954 Toho Co., Ltd
Sound of the Mountain ©1954 Toho Co., Ltd.

The Japan Foundation, Sydney & ACMI Present

Sound of the Mountain


Mikio Naruse | Japan | 1954 | Unclassified (All Ages)

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Sat 3 Dec 2022


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Declared to be one of Naruse’s favourite works, Sound of the Mountain tells the complicated story of a post-war Japanese family from the perspective of the patriarch Shingo (Sō Yamamura). The crumbling marriage between his son Shūichi (Ken Uehara) and Kikuko (Setsuko Hara), Shūichi’s clandestine affairs and Shingo’s daughter Fusako’s (Chieko Nakakita) unstable marital life are the thought-provoking events that force Shingo to face how the women in his life are bound to suffering due to inherently unfair social codes. While Kikuko finds herself caught between tradition and modernity, she is uncertain whether she has the right to escape her unhappy marriage in favour of her own integrity and a merrier future.

Through slow and allusive interchanges and meaningful silences that allow room for poetic contemplation, Naruse’s adaptation of Yasunari Kawabata’s original novel inserts Shingo in a series of disconnects between man and woman, parent and child, forcing him to realise that all he can do for the younger generation is set them free from the failures of their ancestors.

Awards & Accolades

Director Naruse declared this film to be one of his favourite among his pictures

Ranked sixth in the Kinema Junpo Top Ten in 1954 Kinema Junpo Critic's Top 200 best Japanese films of all time.

... possessed of a measured pace and a melancholy, lyrical undercurrent ...

Sense of Cinema

Format: 35mm, BW
Language: Japanese with English subtitles
Source: ©1954 Toho Co., Ltd.
Courtesy: ©1954 Toho Co., Ltd.
Runtime: 95 mins

Event duration

95 mins


Unclassified (All Ages)

Contains mild themes


FREE (bookings required). Available from Wed 9 November.

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Cinema 1, Level 2
Fed Square, ACMI

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Mikio Naruse: A Glimpse of Japan’s Unsung Master (2–4 Dec 2022)

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