Kawaita hana

Pale Flower
Muraki has just been released from prison, where he served time for murder, and returns to his old yakuza haunts. In an illegal club, where gamblers bet large on cards in a game called tehonbiki, he meets an enigmatic young woman. Saeko takes big risks, but gambling is more about the thrill than the money for her. She persuades Muraki to take her to an even more exclusive club. During the day, Muraki is beset by people from his past gangster milieu, while at night, he falls increasingly under the spell of the attractive drag racer Saeko … Baudelaire’s Flowers of Evil might well have stood godfather for Masahiro Shinoda’s classic film noir, which enduringly shaped the genre of yakuza thrillers. Kawaita hana glorifies big-city life in a manner as morbid as it is lyrical, accentuated by composer Toru Takemitsu’s cool jazz score. Beholden to the Aesthetics of Shadow concept with its expressive light and dark camerawork, the film, shot in black-and-white and Cinemascope, intensifies into an existential drama that temporarily eclipses the plot’s gang rivalries.
by Masahiro Shinoda
with Ryo Ikebe, Mariko Kaga, Takashi Fujiki, Naoki Sugiura, Shin’ichiro Mikami, Isao Sasaki, Koji Nakahara, Chisako Hara, Seiji Miyaguchi, Eijiro Tono
Japan 1964 Japanese 96’ Black/White


  • Ryo Ikebe
  • Mariko Kaga
  • Takashi Fujiki
  • Naoki Sugiura
  • Shin’ichiro Mikami
  • Isao Sasaki
  • Koji Nakahara
  • Chisako Hara
  • Seiji Miyaguchi
  • Eijiro Tono


Director Masahiro Shinoda
Written by Masahiro Shinoda, Masaru Baba based on a story by Shintaro Ishihara
Cinematography Masao Kosugi
Music Toru Takemitsu, Yuji Takahashi
Production Design Shigemasa Toda
Make-Up Yoshiko Nawa
Producer Masao Shirai, Shigeru Wakatsuki

Additional information

DCP: Shochiku, Tokyo

Masahiro Shinoda


Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2022