Friday, May 25, 2007

Kei Kumai, a Japanese film director who created true-life films with social themes, died this week in Tokyo. He was 76.
In 1974, his Sandakan Hachiban Shokan Bokyo (Sandakan Brothel No. 8), which detailed the lives of Japanese women forced to work as prostitutes before World War II. The film brought him international acclaim. Kinuyo Tanaka, who starred, won the best actress Silver Bear at Berlinale for her work.
In 1987 Umi to Dokuyaku (The Sea and Poison) won a special jury prize at Berlinale. Sen no Rikyu (The Death of a Tea Master), won a Silver Lion at the Venice International Film Festival in 1989.
Kumai’s last film, Umi wa Miteita (The Sea is Watching), was released in 2002 and featured a script by legendary director Akira Kurosawa.