Black River (1957 film)

Black River (黒い河, Kuroi kawa) is a 1957 Japanese drama film directed by Masaki Kobayashi.[a]

Black River
Kuroi kawa poster.jpg
Original Japanese theatrical poster
Directed byMasaki Kobayashi
Written by
Produced byRyotaro Kuwata
CinematographyYuharu Atsuta
Edited byYoshiyasu Hamamura
Music byChuji Konoshita
Distributed byShochiku
Release date
  • 23 October 1957 (1957-10-23)
Running time
114 minutes[1]


University student Nishida moves into a rundown area near a US military base, where he gets acquainted with waitress Shizuko. Shizuko is raped by local gangster boss Joe and, although she despises him, is unable to put an end to their subsequent affair. Joe also helps Nishida's landlady to throw Nishida and the other tenants out of their flats in a scheme to make room for a new hotel, leaving them homeless. After a confrontation between Joe and Nishida, who has fallen in love with Shizuko as she has with him, Shizuko kills the drunken Joe by pushing him in front of a passing army truck.



Black River was screened at the 2005 New York Film Festival in a theatrical retrospective celebrating the Shochiku Company's 110th year.[9]


  1. ^ Various sources alternately put the year of release in 1956 or 1957. Sources which list 1957 include Kinema Junpo,[1] Donald Richie,[2] David Desser,[3] The New York Times,[4] and Shochiku Online.[5] Sources which list 1956 include the Japanese Movie Database,[6] Shochiku,[7] and The Criterion Collection.[8] Kinema Junpo also lists a number of print articles on the film on its website, all published in late 1957.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d "黒い河 (Kuroi kawa)" (in Japanese). Kinema Junpo. Retrieved 11 January 2022.
  2. ^ Anderson, Joseph L.; Richie, Donald (1959). The Japanese Film – Art and Industry. Charles E. Tuttle Company. p. 285.
  3. ^ Desser, David (May 1988). Eros Plus Massacre: An Introduction to the Japanese New Wave Cinema. Indiana University Press. p. 42. ISBN 0-253-31961-7.
  4. ^ Shapiro, Michael (1 December 1991). "Japan and the U.S. Share an Uneasy Artistic Peace". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 June 2009.
  5. ^ "黒い河 (Kuroi kawa)" (in Japanese). Shochiku Online. Archived from the original on 21 June 2009. Retrieved 30 June 2009.
  6. ^ "黒い河 (Kuroi kawa)" (in Japanese). Japanese Movie Database. Retrieved 30 June 2009.
  7. ^ "Black River". Shochiku. Retrieved 10 January 2022.
  8. ^ "Black River". The Criterion Collection. Retrieved 11 January 2022.
  9. ^ "The Beauty of the Everyday: Japan's Shochiku Company at 110". Film Society of Lincoln Center. 2005. Archived from the original on 3 October 2009. Retrieved 30 June 2009.

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