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Woman of the Dunes 15 rating

Hiroshi Teshigahara's mystifying, serene and provocative fable about an entomologist who becomes trapped in a young widow’s desert shack.

Animation & Artists Moving Image 1964 147 mins

Director: Hiroshi Teshigahara


An entomologist misses the last bus home and spends the night sharing a young widow’s desert shack, only to find the next morning that he’s unable to leave. He soon becomes psychologically and erotically entangled in her strange existence, which includes a daily ritual of shovelling away endlessly drifting sand.

Winner of a Special Jury Prize at Cannes in 1964 and nominated for two Academy Awards for Best Foreign Film and Best Director, the film combines an extremely erotic drama with a terrifically gripping thriller. Adapted from Kobe Abe’s novel by acclaimed director Hiroshi Teshigahara, the film also features startling high-contrast black and white photography from Hiroshi Segawa and a superb minimalist score by Toru Takemitsu.