Archive of films A Flame at Pier / Namida wo shishi no tategami ni

1962, 103 min

Section: Shochiku Nouvelle Vague
Year: 2007

A dock-worker named Murakami lets himself be manipulated by the boss into intimidating the headman forming a trade union movement, but the latter ends up getting killed in the attack... This early Shinoda film inspired by American dramas of the 1950s could adapt the subheading “Rebel without a Cause on the Waterfront”.


This early Shinoda film, which shows the director’s conversancy in the plots of American social dramas of the 1950s, could bear the subheading “Rebel without a Cause on the Waterfront”. The plot is not original, but the shooting method and dolly shots, clearly inspired by the French New Wave, give a sense of the filmmaker’s abilities before they developed in full in his following films. A dockworker named Murakami takes the side of his employer and protégé in a conflict between the workers and the company owner. Under the influence of his morally corrupt benefactor, however, the hot-headed Murakami degrades into the boss’s personal henchman. He allows himself to be manipulated into intimidating the headman forming the trade union movement, but the latter ends up being killed in the attack, and turns out to have been the father of the girl that Murakami is courting. He finds himself incapable of forgiving himself for his wrongdoing, even in the arms of his boss’s wife... Beyond the schematic storyline and acting performances comes a colourful description of the dockyard environment and the port of Yokohama.

About the director

Masahiro Shinoda (b. 1931, Gifu prefecture) is a director known as the intellectual of the Japanese New Wave. He studied theatre history at university but was forced to seek work early on after the death of his mother in 1953. His experience in the Shochiku studio led to his debut One Way Ticket to Love, 1960. From the outset Shinoda was fascinated by the deeper psychology and aesthetics that his distinct visual style brought to his films. After leaving Shochiku in 1965, in an independent production, he focused on the work of classic dramatist Monzaemon, among others. The films Double Suicide, 1969 and Gonza the Spearman, 1986, for which Shinoda was awarded a special Silver Bear at the Berlin Festival, were based on Monzaemon’s work. The films Silence, 1971 and MacArthur’s Children, 1984, in which the director turned to the consequences of the Second World War for his generation, were both distributed in Czech cinemas.


Shochiku Co., Ltd.
4-1-1 Tsukiji, Togeki Bldg. 12th Floor, Chuo-Ku, 104 8422, Tokyo
Tel: +81 355 501 623
Fax: +81 355 501 654

The Japan Foundation
4-16-3 Yotsuya, Shinjuku-ku, 160-0004, Tokyo
Tel: +81 355 623 535
Fax: +81 355 623 500

About the film

Black & white, 35 mm

Section: Shochiku Nouvelle Vague
Director: Masahiro Shinoda
Screenplay: Shuji Terayama, Ichiro Mizunuma, Masahiro Shinoda
Dir. of Photography: Masao Kosugi
Music: Tôru Takemitsu
Producer: Masao Shirai
Production: Shochiku
Cast: Takashi Fujiki, Mariko Kaga, Kyôko Kishida, Tamotsu Hayakawa, Sô Yamamura, Koji Nambara
Contact: Shochiku Co., Ltd., The Japan Foundation


Masahiro Shinoda

Film Director, Film Director

Junko Kawaguchi

Marie Suzuki



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