A Man Vanishes
Directed by Shohei Imamura • Documentary • 1967 • 130 minutes
One of the most important and complex works by two-time Palme d'Or winning director Shohei Imamura, A MAN VANISHES begins as an investigation into one of the thousands of missing persons cases that occur in Japan each year.
The film follows the case of Tadashi, a handsome businessman who has suddenly vanished. Imamura and his crew interview the man's fiancee, Yoshie, who is desperately searching for him, and the filmmaker becomes increasingly involved in her life. But the "investigation" casts a shadow of doubt over the couple's relationship, Tadashi's business ventures, his relationship with Yoshie's sister, and even the investigating film director, Imamura himself, who may not be what he seems.
"An existential essay on elusiveness of identity, a self-debunking bit of directorial mischief, a vertiginous travesty of a procedural, and an influential merging of life and fiction...A MAN VANISHES envisions life as a tangle of subjectively staged "dramas," each complementing and contradicting the other."—Slant Magazine