Photo of Shohei Imamura Shohei Imamura

Born Sept. 15, 1926, in Tokyo, Shohei Imamura once stated that he was "interested in people: strong, greedy, humorous, deceitful people" -- a viewpoint that's abundantly evident in the director's impressive body of work.

Imamura enrolled in technical college to avoid being drafted in World War II, shifting his focus to playwriting and filmmaking after the war ended. Part of the Japanese New Wave, Imamura made his directorial debut in 1958 with Stolen Desire. But it was with his 1961 gangster farce Pigs and Battleships that he hit his stride and began to focus on the fringe figures, strong women and messy characters that would come to characterize his work.

After spending much of the 1970s making documentaries, Imamura returned to features during his later years, winning the Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or for both The Ballad of Narayama (1983) and Unagi (1997). He died on May 30, 2006.

Shohei Imamura in September 11

September 11

2002 UR

An unorthodox look at the repercussions of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, is presented in this collection of short films about how people from all walks of life were ultimately changed that day. Included are stories from a World Trade Center tour guide with relationship problems just before the attacks and a lonely man who lives minutes from the Twin Towers. Also included is a segment tackling the viewpoint of a suicide bomber.

  • Shohei Imamura in The Pornographers The Pornographers
  • Shohei Imamura in Pigs and Battleships Pigs and Battleships
  • Shohei Imamura in The Insect Woman The Insect Woman
  • Shohei Imamura in Intentions of Murder Intentions of Murder
  • Shohei Imamura in The Ballad of Narayama The Ballad of Narayama
  • Shohei Imamura in Black Rain Black Rain
  • Shohei Imamura in Vengeance Is Mine Vengeance Is Mine
  • Shohei Imamura in Warm Water Under a Red Bridge Warm Water Under a Red Bridge
  • Shohei Imamura in 2009 Lost Memories 2009 Lost Memories