A Hero of Tokyo (1935) National Film Archive of Japan
A Hero of Tokyo (1935) National Film Archive of Japan
A Hero of Tokyo (1935) National Film Archive of Japan

The Melbourne Cinémathèque & ACMI present

A Hero of Tokyo

Hiroshi Shimizu | Japan | 1935 | Unclassified (15+)

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Wed 13 Jul 2022

Shimizu’s final silent film is a deeply ironic and profoundly distilled treatise on the poor status of women in 1930s Japan. Abandoned by her corrupt second husband, Haruko (Mitsuko Yoshikawa), becomes a hostess in order to support her three children, a decision that has a profound impact on their subsequent lives. Shimizu’s subversive critique of Japanese militarism and ingrained attitudes to class, tradition and sexuality provides an incisive portrait of an increasingly conservative society. 35mm print courtesy of the National Film Archive of Japan.

Format: 35mm, Black & White
Language: Japanese with English Subtitles
Source: National Film Archive of Japan
Courtesy: National Film Archive of Japan
Runtime: 75 mins

Event duration

63 mins


Unclassified (15+)


Cinema 1, Level 2
ACMI, Fed Square

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Also screening on Wed 13 July

About the program

Making his directorial debut in 1924 at the age of 21, Hiroshi Shimizu (1903–1966) went on to make over 160 films in a career contemporaneous with widely acknowledged masters Yasujiro Ozu and Kenji Mizoguchi, in whose critical shadows he often, undeservedly, resided. The warmth and lightness of his work has always been highly praised but, as Alexander Jacoby notes, he shares with Jean Renoir the double-edged nature of such plaudits: “Those few critics who have written about Shimizu’s work tend to make him sound less interesting than he is.”

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Director Hiroshi Shimizu

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