Archive of films Caterpillar / Caterpillar

2010, 85 min

Section: Horizons
Year: 2010

It’s 1940, the end of the Second Sino-Japanese War. Lieutenant Kurokawa returns home without arms and legs, a man-caterpillar. Koji Wakamatsu, who made a name for himself directing Japanese "pinku eiga” erotica, has directed an antiwar drama that is one of the most controversial films accepted to this year’s Berlin competition. The jury conferred Best Actress on Shinobu Terajima.


Can there be such a thing as a just war when in every conflict human beings kill each other and commit unthinkable atrocities? Lieutenant Kurokawa experienced it all firsthand. Initially he was the one to torture, rape, and kill. It’s 1940, the end of the Second Sino-Japanese War and Kurokawa returns home a war hero, his chest decorated with medals. And his chest, or more precisely his trunk and head, is all the hardened soldier and onetime brutal husband has left. His wife Shigeko waits for him back home: her responsibility to her family, the village, and even the emperor is to devote herself to taking care of the man-caterpillar, the taciturn body which constantly demands food and sex. One of the most controversial films of this year’s Berlinale competition, Caterpillar is an intimate and powerful, strongly antiwar drama shot low-budget with virtually only two actors – and they turn in riveting performances. Shinobu Terajima, who plays Shigeko, walked away from the festival with the Best Actress Award.

About the director

Koji Wakamatsu (b. 1936, Wakuya, Japan) made his way to Tokyo at age 17 where he became a member of the yakuza. After being released from prison he wrote a book about his experiences. He began working for television in 1959 before becoming a successful creator of "pinku eiga,” Japanese soft porn. In 1965 he founded Wakamatsu Production, whose first film was the controversial title Secrets behind the Wall, presented in competition at the Berlinale. In 1976 he produced Nagisa Oshima’s well-known work In the Realm of the Senses. In the 60s and 70s Wakamatsu shot as many as ten films per year, several of them banned in many countries. He gained renewed festival success in 1971 when two of his movies, Violated Angels (1967) and Sex Jack (1970), were screened at Cannes. In 2008 the Berlinale screened the critically-acclaimed United Red Army.


Dissidenz International
52 rue Charlot, 75003, Paris
Tel: +33 1 427 788 20
Fax: +33 1 427 788 19

About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: Horizons
Director: Koji Wakamatsu
Screenplay: Hisako Kurosawa, Deru Deguchi
Dir. of Photography: Tomohiko Tsuji
Music: Sally Kubota, Yumi Okada
Editor: Shuichi Kakesu
Producer: Koji Wakamatsu, Noriko Ozaki
Production: Wakamatsu Production, Inc., Skhole Corporation
Cast: Shinobu Terajima, Shima Ohnishi, Ken Yoshizawa, Keigo Kasuya, Emi Masuda, Keigo Kasuya
Contact: Dissidenz International

© 2021 FILM SERVIS FESTIVAL KARLOVY VARY, a.s. +420 221 411 011 All contacts

CinemasCinemas PartnersPartners
ProgramProgram About the projectAbout the project
HistoryHistory GalleryGallery
HistoryHistory ContactsContacts
Archive of filmsArchive of films KVIFF TalksKVIFF Talks
Industry Days July 5 - July 8Industry Days July 5 - July 8 ContactsContacts
VideogalleryVideogallery GalleryGallery
HistoryHistory Festival GuideFestival Guide