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2,860 Ratings

Woman in the Dunes

Suna no onna

Directed by Hiroshi Teshigahara
Japan, 1964
Drama, Thriller


Winner of the Special Jury Prize at Cannes and nominated for two Oscars, this arthouse classic depicts the strange and unusual relationship that forms between an amateur entomologist and a woman who lives at the bottom of a sand dune.

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Woman in the Dunes Directed by Hiroshi Teshigahara

Awards & Festivals

Cannes Film Festival

1964 | Winner: Jury Special Prize

Academy Awards

1966 | Nominee: Best Director

1965 | Nominee: Best Foreign Language Film

Kinema Junpo Awards

1965 | 2 wins including: Best Film

It isn’t an essay film or an ideological treatise, but a labyrinthine work of jet-black humor, which is anchored by the arrogant presumptions of the teacher.
August 25, 2016
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The feature film Woman in the Dunes, his 1964 collaboration with novelist-playwright-scenarist Kobo Abe, stands at the high point of [Teshigahara’s] filmmaking career and constitutes the most eloquent of his several works with Abe. Using the textures of his pottery and the grand scale of his floral constructions, Teshigahara brings to Abe’s text the full force of his nonverbal artistry of chiaroscuro, of shapes and surfaces, of speed and languor.
July 09, 2007
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Of course, the young woman comments – in what may well be the great one-liner of Japanese cinema – “this place isn’t as interesting as Tokyo.” Yet for the purposes of the film it is, far more interesting, and the couple’s grimly inescapable dilemma becomes hugely complex and terrifyingly resonant – a sexualised version of the Sisyphus myth, recounted with a distinct touch of Buñuelian absurdism.
July 17, 2004
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