Japanese Entry for Foreign Language Oscar to Be 'Postcard'

The last film by 99-year-old director Kaneto Shindo to represent Japan for Best Foreign Language film.

TOKYO – Japan’s entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at next year’s Oscars will be Ich-mai no Hagaki (Postcard) by 99-year-old director Kaneto Shindo.

Postcard won the Special Jury Prize at Tokyo International Film Festival, where it bowed last October. 

The anti-war film, which the director also wrote, is based partly on Shindo’s own experiences during World War II.

The film stars Etsushi Toyokawa as a soldier sent to the frontline who gives his friend a letter for his wife, answering her postcard, not expecting to return alive. When he does make it back home he finds his family has been devastated by the war in various ways.

Postcard had a special premiere screening in Tokyo on August 6, the anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, the city where Shindo was born in 1912.

Wheelchair-bound Shindo is Japan’s oldest director and made his first film in 1951. The director has said that Postcard, which was chosen from 22 films to compete for the Academy Award entry, would be his last.