Scene from Pigs and Battleships of a group of men sitting at a table playing a board game.

Pigs and Battleships

Shōhei Imamura | Japan | 1962

Director: Shohei Imamura
Producer: Kano Ôtsuka
Screenplay: Hisa Yamauchi, Gisashi Yamauchi,
  from the novel by Kazu Ôtsuka
Cinematography: Shinsaku Himeda
Editor: Mutsuo Tanji
Music: Toshirô Mayuzumi
Hiroyuki Nagato (Kinta)
Jitsuko Yoshimura (Haruko)
Masao Mishima (Himori)
Tetsurô Tanba (Slasher Tetsuji)
Shirô Ôsaka (Hoshino)
Takeshi Katô (Ohachi)
Shôichi Ozawa (Gunji, Gangster in check shirt)

Rating:  M sexual violence, violence & offensive language Runtime: 108 minutes

Double Palme-d’Or winner, Imamura showed his fascination with determined women and the underbelly of human existence early on in Pigs and Battleships, which chronicles a couple’s hustles in late 1940s Yokosuka, with Japan under US occupation.

Small-time crook Kinta wants to expand his extortion racket and farm pigs in the back room to flog to hungry US troops on the black market.  Girlfriend Haruko would prefer he got an honest factory job to provide for her and their unborn child, but is perfectly prepared to resort to nefarious means to get the life she wants and wrangle Kinta under her control.

Propulsive, absurd and frequently hilarious, Pigs and Battleships skewers both the oafish occupiers and their conniving Japanese hosts. Botched robberies, double crosses and truck chases through crowded portside streets feature heavily – as do the pigs.

“With its raucous visual and auditory effects and its strong, down-to-earth women, Pigs and Battleships was a turning point for Imamura, as it showcased his full-blown distinctive style.” Audie Bock,


May 08 2023


6:15 pm - 8:05 pm