Shokutaku no nai ie (1985) AKA The Empty Table / Family Without a Dinner Table


This gripping docudrama is a fictionalized account of what could happen to a Japanese family when one of their sons shames them in front of the entire nation. Director Masaki Kobayashi has used real events so the dramatic turns in the film are based on fact — a 1970s shootout in the mountains between a band of Japanese terrorists and the police in which many men on both sides died.

Director: Masaki Kobayashi. AKA 食卓のない家 / The Empty Table 
Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Mayumi Ogawa, Kie Nakai, Kiichi Nakai, Takayuki Takemoto, Shima Iwashita, Mikijirô Hira, Azusa Mano.

1985 Venice Film Festival – Nominated for the Golden Lion.


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  1. Jacques W
    April 20, 2020

    Recorded off of television. Very poor quality.

  2. August 19, 2021

    I second what Jacques W. said: this is badly filmed from a TV image and projected at the wrong speed. Not the best way to honor one of the greatest Japanese directors.

  3. John B.
    July 4, 2023

    What ingratitude! Until a better copy becomes available, I’m happy to see this classic in any form, as it’s nowhere to be found anywhere else.

  4. Torin Doyle
    July 6, 2023

    To be fair, it’s still more than watchable.

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