An Unsung Master of Japanese Cinema

JFF Special Series returns to cinemas in 2022 and proudly presents the work of a master in Japanese filmmaking, Mikio Naruse. The films featured in the series shine a light on Naruse’s poignant observation of the growing tension surrounding familial and societal conformities in a changing, post-war era of Japan–a theme that pervades the director’s remarkably crafted body of work.

Floating Clouds


Floating Clouds follows the story of a married forester, Kengo (Masayuki Mori), and a young typist, Yukiko (Hideko Takamine), who start an idyllic love affair during World War II in occupied Vietnam.

Sound of the Mountain


Declared to be one of Naruse’s favourite works, Sound of a Mountain tells the complicated story of a post-war Japanese family from the perspective of the patriarch Shingo (Sō Yamamura). 

When a Woman Ascends the Stairs


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.



Long after losing her husband in the war, widower Reiko Morita (Hideko Takamine) continues to operate her mother-in-law’s grocery store out of love.