99-year-old director Kaneto Shindo’s WWII drama Post Card (Ichimai No Hagaki) has been selected as Japan’s official entry for the best foreign-language film category of the Academy Awards.
The Motion Picture Producers Association of Japan (Eiren) made the announcement today, stating the film had been chosen from a field of 22 titles.
Post Card had its world premiere at last October’s Tokyo international film festival, where it was awarded the special jury prize. At the time, Shindo stated that the film, partially based on his own military experiences during wartime Japan, would be the final work of his 60-year directing career.
Post Card stars Etsushi Toyokawa as a soldier who journeys to a rural village after the war to deliver a post card reply from a fellow soldier killed in action to his widow (Shinobu Otake), leading to a relationship between the two survivors.
Post Card screened as an international premiere this June at the Moscow film festival where Shindo has won the event’s top prize three times over the decades.
Post Card was released domestically by distributor Tokyo Theatres on August 6, commemorating the 66th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima.
Initially opening on two screens in Tokyo and Hiroshima, unusually high per screen averages of over $22,000 led to a wider release on 21 screens in mid-August, with further dates subsequently added. It has grossed approximately $850,000 thus far.