Skip to main content
Classics and discoveries from around the world, thematically programmed with special features, on a streaming service brought to you by the Criterion Collection.
Directed by Mikio Naruse • 1956 • Japan
Kinuyo Tanaka, Isuzu Yamada, Hideko Takamine
One of director Mikio Naruse’s most sublime achievements traces the fortunes of a geisha house struggling to survive in the face of a changing society. As seen through the eyes of the establishment’s new maid (Kinuyo Tanaka), FLOWING centers on the attempts of the brothel’s mistress (Isuzu Yamada) to save her house from obsolescence, even as her daughter (Hideko Takamine) wishes for a different life. A superlative showcase for three of Japan’s greatest actresses, this masterpiece from Naruse’s richest period is an exquisite evocation of a lost world passing into the realm of history.