Forever a Woman (乳房よ永遠なれ / Chibusa yo eien nare) (1955)

  • October 21, 2022 | 8:00 PM - 9:45 PM | Friday
  • Oldham Theatre


Sorry, this event is expired and no longer available.
Share This Event

This screening will be preceded by an introduction by Deborah Shamoon, Assistant Professor of Japanese Studies at the National University of Singapore.

Alternative Title: The Eternal Breasts
Director: Kinuyo Tanaka
Runtime: 110 minutes
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Rating: NC16 (Some Nudity)

“This is a film directed by Tanaka Kinuyo, dedicated to all womankind. The pathos and intensity of women’s lives have never before been so revealed”.

– Extract from newspaper advertisement, Forever a Woman, Yomiuru Shinbun 1955

Full Synopsis

Based on the life of tanka poet, Fumiko Nakajo (her biography The Eternal Breasts serves as the film’s alternative title), Forever a Woman depicts a divorced mother of two whose rising literary fame cruelly intersects with a diagnosis of breast cancer, and a subsequent mastectomy. Struggling with her sense of womanhood, she forms an intimate relationship with a journalist, in a powerful act of self-reclamation and desire. Sensuous and heartbreaking in equal measure, Tanaka’s third directorial feature is among her most personal works and is considered to be way ahead of its time for its frank depiction of a woman’s love and sexuality.  

Scripted by woman screenwriter Sumie Tanaka (who also wrote Girls of Dark), the film can be read as a collaborative expression of intent to represent the subjective experience of a woman—as she is—liberated from the socially normative role of the wife/mother archetypes that Tanaka was all too familiar with portraying as an actress for male filmmakers. Like her protagonist, she reclaims her agency and perspective on her own terms via her authorial position as a director. 


About the Speaker

Deborah Shamoon is Associate Professor of Japanese Studies at the National University of Singapore. Her research focuses on representations of girls and women in Japanese film, literature and popular culture. Her publications include Passionate Friendship: The Aesthetics of Girls’ Culture in Japan (2012); “Misora Hibari and the Girl Star in Postwar Japanese Cinema,” Signs 35:1 (2009); and “Class S: Appropriation of ‘Lesbian’ Subculture in Modern Japanese Literature and New Wave Cinema,” Cultural Studies 35.1 (2020).


Retrospective: Kinuyo Tanaka is held in conjunction with Japanese Film Festival Singapore, and has been made possible with the generous support of the Japan Foundation.

For the full Retrospective: Kinuyo Tanaka programme, please visit here.

Oldham Theatre’s opening hours

For further assistance, please contact us at 

Important Notice:
Do note that Oldham Theatre operates on a free seating arrangement. Doors will open 20 minutes before showtime so arrive early to choose a seat and avoid disrupting the screenings as AFA does not play ads and screenings will start promptly.
All patrons are encouraged to purchase your tickets online. If you choose to purchase tickets or merchandise at Oldham Theatre’s box office, cashless payment is preferred.
Measures will be taken to ensure the health and safety of all patrons at Oldham Theatre. Mask-wearing is optional as of 29 August 2022.

Concession tickets apply to Students (Local & Overseas), Full-time National Servicemen (NSF), Senior Citizens (55 years and above) only.
Please check film ratings before purchase of tickets. Please note that you may be asked to present your ID at the door (this applies to concession tickets as well). Only physical photographic identification is allowed, digital copies of identification are not allowed. AFA reserves the right to turn away any members of the public without physical photographic identification.
Upon confirmation of your order for Tickets, no exchange of Tickets will be made under any circumstances and Tickets are not transferable. No refund on Tickets will be made under any circumstances except due to cancellation of the event. The resale of Tickets at any price is prohibited.