Ningen Johatsu (A Man Vanishes) (1967) - Rotten Tomatoes

Ningen Johatsu (A Man Vanishes) (1967)

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Movie Info

One of the giants of Japanese cinema, Shohei Imamura (1926-2006),helmed this unique, stylistically groundbreaking picture that erodes the barriers between truth and invention, fact and myth. Initially, we're handed a seemingly straightforward documentary - an investigation into one of many missing persons ases that populate Japan every year. An on-camera commentator informs us that Tadashi, a Japanese businessman, has vanished into thin air and, for all he knows, "may be hiding in a hole somewhere." From there, Imamura and his crew begin to systematically interview those with a connection to Tadashi, including his fiancée, Yoshie. As the movie rolls forward, however, numerous uncertainties come to light - regarding their relationship, Tadashi's business per se, his relationship with his sister-in-law, and much more - until finally, even the motivations and the honesty of the director himself are thrown into doubt. A Man Vanishes suffered from unrectifiable technical issues in post-production, that kept lengthy portions of the audio out of synch with the image, and that have lingered until the present day. Despite this fact, it is considered a classic of world cinema, and received critical raves on both sides of the Atlantis during its UK reissue in 2011 and its U.S. reissue the following year. ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for Ningen Johatsu (A Man Vanishes)

All Critics (8) | Top Critics (4)

The explosively provocative film progressively and aggressively blurs distinctions between documentary and fiction.

November 19, 2012 | Full Review…

A part-fact, part-fiction narrative that challenges the very notion of whether true documentary can even exist.

November 16, 2012 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Seemingly banal in its conceit, wildly startling in its execution, it tracks a film crew that, like a detective squad, investigates what became of an ordinary man.

November 14, 2012 | Rating: 4/5

Remains a primo example that cinema actually traffics in truthiness 24 frames per second.

November 13, 2012 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Messy experimental pic that starts out as a documentary but changes to fiction.

December 28, 2012 | Rating: B | Full Review…

Even for those who have seen the kind of productions since inspired by this daring experiment, A Man Vanishes should not be missed-or forgotten.

November 15, 2012 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Ningen Johatsu (A Man Vanishes)

a pretty fascinating experimental film that starts as a documentary and becomes something else. imamura sets out to investigate one of the thousands of missing persons cases that occur in japan each year by interviewing friends, family and co-workers. i can't help having a suspicion he got a bit bored when this line of inquiry seemed to lead nowhere and wanted to inject some drama into the film, leading to something much more interesting...

Stella Dallas
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

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