Cruel Story of Youth

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Cruel Story of Youth
Cruel Story of Youth.jpg
The Japanese Poster.
Directed by Nagisa Oshima
Written by Nagisa Oshima
Starring Yusuke Kawazu
Miyuki Kuwano
Music by Riichiro Manabe
Cinematography Takashi Kawamata
Edited by Keiichi Uraoka
Release dates
  • June 3, 1960 (1960-06-03) (Japan)
Running time
96 minutes
Country Japan
Language Japanese

Cruel Story of Youth (青春残酷物語 Seishun Zankoku Monogatari?) is a 1960 Japanese film directed by Nagisa Oshima, starring Yusuke Kawazu and Miyuki Kuwano. It is Oshima's second feature film.



Oshima, who was only 28 at the time, made extensive use of hand-held cameras and location shooting, and the results drew comparisons to the French nouvelle vague filmmakers emerging at around the same time; the film became one of the primary films in the Nuberu bagu.

The use of adolescent criminals as protagonists generated controversy at the time, though the film was also a commercial success, which helped to pave the way for the emergence of a young and adventurous generation of new Japanese filmmakers: in short order, Shohei Imamura, Masahiro Shinoda, Yasuzo Masumura, Susumu Hani, Hiroshi Teshigahara and others began to attract international attention. In this film, Oshima was already beginning to explore the themes he would soon become celebrated for: a focus on youth and on 'outsiders', and critical deconstructions of more stereotypical imagery in Japanese cinema.


  • Donald Richie. 100 Years Of Japanese Cinema, 2003, Kodansha.
  • Joan Mellen. The Waves At Genji's Door: Japan Through Its Cinema, 1975, Pantheon.
  • Tadao Sato. Currents In Japanese Cinema, 1982, Kodansha.

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