Hideko Takamine in When a Woman Ascends the Stairs (1960)
Free
When a Woman Ascends the Stairs ©1960 Toho Co., Ltd.

The Japan Foundation, Sydney & ACMI Present

When a Woman Ascends the Stairs

女が階段を上る時

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

Based on an original screenplay by Ryūzō Kikushima and often considered to be Naruse’s magnum opus, When a Woman Ascends the Stairs is a touching tale of social injustice and emotional turbulence during post-war Japan. Keiko, more commonly known as Mama, is an ageing hostess working in the glamorous Ginza entertainment district. She finds herself at a turning point: should she seek marriage, stay in a career that will vanish with her youth, or pursue a business of her own? As the men surrounding her turn out to be a string of bitter disappointments, Mama finds herself wondering whether she actually has any agency in determining her life.

The courageous female protagonist, portrayed by Hideko Takamine, represents the true embodiment of the conflicts of a woman longing to establish her independence in a male-dominated society, with her character being emblematic of all women whose stories we tend to forget.

Awards & Accolades

Included in Kinema Junpo Critic's Top 200 best Japanese films of all time.

... a heartbreaking study, to be compared with Mizoguchi's 'Life of Oharu'.

The Guardian

Format: 35mm, BW
Language: Japanese with English subtitles
Source: ©1960 Toho Co., Ltd.
Courtesy: ©1960 Toho Co., Ltd.
Duration: 111 mins

When

Fri 2 Dec 2022

7pm

See below for additional related events

Duration

111 mins

Rating

Unclassified (All Ages)

Contains mild sexual references and suicide

Tickets

FREE (bookings required). Tickets on sale from Wed 9 November.

Get tickets

Where

Cinemas, Level 2
Fed Square, ACMI

How to get there

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

There are no upcoming related events at this time.

Japanese Film Festival 2022

Screening in cities across Australia, the JFF program will feature an expertly curated selection of films, from hot new releases alongside action, anime, drama, documentaries and more.

View the full program
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