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ARCHIVED ONLINE EVENT - Japan Society Film Club: High and Low directed by Akira Kurosawa

Wednesday 6 January 2021 / 6:30pm
ONLINE EVENT - Japan Society Film Club: High and Low directed by Akira Kurosawa

Wednesday 6 January 2021
6.30pm (GMT)
For countries outside the UK, please use this calculator to check the time in your region.

Booking Details
Free - Booking essential
Priority for Japan Society Members

Please remember to watch the film in advance. High and Low is available on BFI player with subscription.

Book online here

Do you love Japanese film classics, anime or contemporary cinema stories? Do you miss Japan and want to see it at least on screen? Would you like to learn and discuss about Japanese culture and society? Join us for the Japan Society Film Club where we will chat online about films and Japan in an informal atmosphere.

For our first Film Club of the year we invite you to watch the stunning thriller High and Low directed by Akira Kurosawa in 1963.

High and Low (天国と地獄, Tengoku to jigoku, 1963) is a superb crime thriller and a brilliant commentary on the contemporary Japanese society, its moral values and class divide. The protagonist, played by Toshiro Mifune at the peak of his career, is a wealthy businessman who becomes a victim of extortion when the son of his chauffeur is kidnapped by mistake. Based on a police novel by crime write Ed McBain, High and Low offers a tense and engaging story of investigation and domestic drama, with an exquisite cinematography in widescreen format and black and white.

Akira Kurosawa (1910-1998) considered one of the greatest film directors in the history of the cinema in Japan and beyond. After training as a painter, he entered the film industry in 1936 and made his directorial debut in 1943 with the film Sanshiro Sugata. After the war, Kurosawa went on to writing and directing celebrated and influential films such as Rashomon (1950), Ikiru (1952), Seven Samurai (1954), Yojimbo (1961), Dersu Uzala (1975) or Ran (1985). Often regarded as the most Western of Japanese directors, Kurosawa is celebrated for his innovative style, visual composition and storytelling. During his 50 years of career in which he directed 30 films, he received numerous film awards and career honours, including a Golden Lion for Career Achievement at the 1982 Venice Film Festival and an Academy Award for lifetime achievement in 1989.

Japan Society Film Club takes place on the first Wednesday of the month. We will recommend a film to watch in advance and meet online to discuss. Films are often available online for free, on DVD or on BFI player(*) which this year is celebrating Japan 2020, a special season on Japanese cinema. When possible, we will invite film experts to introduce and lead the discussion, but the event is open to all and we encourage participants to freely express their opinions and feelings about the films.

If you have any questions, please call the Japan Society office on 020 3075 1996 or email

* Films on BFI player are available with a monthly subscription (£4.99/month after 14 day free trial). As a charity organisation, BFI helps to support films and the film industry in the UK.

Booking Info

Please remember to watch the film in advance. High and Low is available on BFI player with subscription.

  • You should receive an automated email from the Japan Society to let you know that your booking request has been registered. Please note that your booking is pending while we check your details and you will receive a further email once your booking is confirmed.

  • For online events, we will send you the zoom links and details to attend the event closer to the date.

  • If you don't receive any confirmation emails or links, please check your spam folder or email