The Inland Sea

The Inland Sea

Directed by Lucille Carra • 1991 • United States
Starring Donald Richie

In 1971, author and film scholar Donald Richie published a poetic travelogue about his explorations of the islands of Japan’s Inland Sea, recording his search for traces of a traditional way of life as well as his own journey of self-discovery. Twenty years later, filmmaker Lucille Carra undertook a parallel trip inspired by Richie’s by-then-classic book, capturing images of hushed beauty and meeting people who still carried on the fading customs that Richie had observed. Interspersed with surprising detours—a visit to a Frank Sinatra–loving monk, a leper colony, an ersatz temple of plywood and plaster—and woven together by Richie’s narration as well as a score by celebrated composer Toru Takemitsu, THE INLAND SEA is an eye-opening voyage and a profound meditation on what it means to be a foreigner.

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The Inland Sea
  • The Inland Sea

    Directed by Lucille Carra • 1991 • United States
    Starring Donald Richie

    In 1971, author and film scholar Donald Richie published a poetic travelogue about his explorations of the islands of Japan’s Inland Sea, recording his search for traces of a traditional way of life as well as his own journe...

Extras

  • Lucille Carra on THE INLAND SEA

    Director Lucille Carra talks about the making of THE INLAND SEA in this interview, recorded in 2019.

  • Paul Schrader and Ian Buruma

    In this conversation, recorded in 2019, filmmaker Paul Schrader and cultural critic Ian Buruma discuss the life and legacy of their close friend Donald Richie, whose 1971 travelogue of the same name inspired THE INLAND SEA.

  • Donald Richie on “The Inland Sea”

    In 1991, THE INLAND SEA director Lucille Carra shot this interview with author and film historian Donald Richie. In it, he discusses his seminal book “The Inland Sea” and reflects on his reputation as a leading Western authority on Japanese culture.