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Sayon’s Bell

Saturday, May 11, 2024 at 1:15 pm

Location: Bartos Screening Room


Dir. Hiroshi Shimizu. 1943, 74 mins. 35mm print courtesy of the National Film Archive of Japan. In Japanese with live English subtitles. With Ri Kōran (Shirley Yamaguchi), Toshiaki Konoe, Kenji Oyama, Kinuko Wakamizu, Hatsu Shimazaki, Kenzo Nakagawa. This pure-grade piece of imperial propaganda, a vehicle for the Chinese-marketed Japanese idol Ri Kōran (later known to American audiences as Shirley Yamaguchi), draws on the then widely circulated story of a 17-year-old Taiwanese aboriginal girl whose patriotic zeal so gripped her that she drowned amid a storm while seeing off her Japanese teacher for the Chinese front. Shimizu’s film dutifully carries off its disturbingly chauvinistic premise, while offering a rare, finely rendered glimpse of occupied rural Taiwan during the same period in which much of Hou Hsiao-hsien’s 1993 film The Puppetmaster is set. 

Tickets: $15 / $11 senior and students / $9 youth (ages 3–17) / discounted for MoMI members ($7–$11). There is a $1.50 transaction fee per ticket for all online purchases. The cost of admission may be applied toward a same-day purchase of a membership. 

Order tickets. Please pick up tickets at the Museum’s admissions desk upon arrival. All seating is general admission.