Adapted for film by Abe Kobo from one of his own works, Ako (White Morning) was made as the Japanese component of the omnibus work Fifteen-Year-Old Widows (Japan, Italy, France, Canada). With Ako, a sixteen-year-old working in a bread factory, as its protagonist, White Morning is a cinema verité-style portrayal of what it was like being young in the sixties. Based around sketches of Ako’s days off spent with her boyfriend, White Morning is a collage of daily work in the factory and young Ako’s comments on her life. A soundtrack by Takemitsu Toru brings the images to life. —YIDFF 2001
Hiroshi Teshigahara (勅使河原 宏, Teshigahara Hiroshi?, January 28, 1927 – April 14, 2001) was an avant-garde Japanese filmmaker.
He was born in Tokyo, son of Sofu Teshigahara, founder and grand master of the the Sogetsu School of ikebana. He graduated in 1950 from the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music and directed his first film, Pitfall (1962), in collaboration with author Kōbō Abe and musician Tōru Takemitsu. The film won the NHK New Director’s award, and throughout the 1960s, he continued to collaborate on films with Abe and Takemitsu while simultaneously pursuing his interest in ikebana and sculpture on a professional level.
In 1965, the Teshigahara/Abe film Woman in the Dunes (1964) was nominated for an Academy Award and won the Special Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival. In 1972, he worked with Japanese researcher and translator John Nathan to make the movie Summer Soldiers, a film set during the Vietnam War about American deserters living on the fringe… read more