Juvenile Jungle (狂った果実) Unclassified 15+

Three Japanese teenagers, two boys in the background and a girl looking back over her shoulder in the foreground.
30 September
Arc Cinema
Free, bookings essential
Dir: Kō Nakahira, Unclassified 15+, Japan, 1956, 85mins, Japanese, 35mm, Subtitled

(Contains moderate visual and verbal sexual references, violence and themes)

Bathed in an endless summer of gambling, boating and drinking with their rebellious friends, brothers Haruji (Masahiko Tsugawa) and Natsuhisa (Yūjirō Ishihara) seem set up for another indulgent vacation by the seaside.

A chance meeting with Eri (Mie Kitahara) has Haruji smitten with first love, and it looks like his quiet nature has won her over. But the explosive, directionless energy and hidden secrets of those around him are set to shatter his experience of love and brotherhood, in Nakahira’s unforgettable debut film.

Based on the novel Crazed Fruit by Shintarō Ishihara, Juvenile Jungle portrays the sexual revolution of Japan’s disillusioned and privileged postwar youth, often referred to as the taiyōzoku or ‘sun tribe generation’. An immediate cultural phenomenon, it followed the novel in representing the voice of this restless and rebellious crowd in popular culture for the first time.

Scored by award-winning composers Masaru Satō (who scored most of Akira Kurosawa’s films) and Tōru Takemitsu (internationally acclaimed composer and music theorist), Nakahira’s film inspired a new genre for the taiyōzoku, and pioneered stylistic territories that internationally propelled the New Wave movement. 

Japanese with English subtitles

©1956 Nikkatsu

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


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