Flora on the Sand (砂の上の植物群) Unclassified 15+

A woman standing with her back to a man who has his arms around her and is holding her tightly.
01 October
Arc Cinema
Free, bookings essential
Dir: Kō Nakahira, Unclassified 15+, Japan, 1964, 94mins, Japanese, 35mm, Subtitled

(Contains strong frequent verbal reference to and depiction of sex, moderate sexualised violence, strong mature themes, mild nudity, mild infrequent coarse language)

Drawing from Paul Klee’s painting of the same name, Flora on the Sand is about a dying man, devoured by jealousy, who swears to make his wife the weapon capable of destroying her future lover.

Following the sexual exploits of an obsessive middle-aged man who is haunted by the womanising spirit of his late father, Nakahira dawns onto an era of leaking taboos – zealously foreshadowing Japan’s famed genre of ‘pink’ films.

Swimming with artistic and daring themes, the film inhabits the dark recesses of a man’s psychological Pandora’s box as he dissolves into an ever-increasing Oedipus-like complex.

Sister to The Hunter’s Diary in lead (Noboru Nakaya), release year and psychosexual perversity, Flora on the Sand sees Nakahira well into Japan’s unforgettable era of experimental cinema.

Based on the novel by Junnosuke Yoshiyuki, this unique film is at once visually intoxicating and disconcerting – a slow waltz into a country’s unspoken obsession for suppressed sexual delirium.

Japanese with English subtitles

©1964 Nikkatsu

See more films in Japanese Film Festival 2023: Kō Nakahira Special Series.


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