Screening of The Most Beautiful


The Most Beautiful / 一番美しく
Dir: Akira Kurosawa
Japan / 1944 / Japanese / (with English subtitles) / Digital File / Rating TBC

This World War Two propaganda film that depicts the stories of several young women who work in a precision optical instruments factory was Akira Kurosawa’s second film as a director. Originally tasked to direct an action film about the Zero fighter planes, Kurosawa conceived The Most Beautiful instead when it became clear that Japan was losing the war and planes could not be spared for use. Unlike other films in the canon of war cinema, The Most Beautiful more often than not reflects and perpetuates romanticised notions of masculine heroism in the frontlines. What transpires then is a compassionate film that portrays the women back home who quietly dedicated themselves to Japan’s ambitious war effort through perseverance, despite illness and hardship.

This film is part of the war film programme Witness to War: Memories and Screens, organised by the National Museum of Singapore as part of the Witness to War exhibition and curated by the Asian Film Archive.

About Witness to War: Memories and Screen

The memories of World War Two have been captured, interpreted and presented in various films – from iconic war films like Merry Christmas, Mr Lawrence to romance films such as Hiroshima Mon Amour and historically significant films like Momotaro, Sacred Sailors and Spirit of the Overseas Chinese which have not been seen in Singapore in recent history. For the first time, the National Museum, in collaboration with the Asian Film Archive, will be presenting Witness to War: Memories and Screens, a selection of films which document and remember the experience of World War Two in the Pacific and its aftermath.

In tracing the historical development from the bombing of Pearl Harbour (1941) to Hiroshima (1945), Memories and Screens will showcase films and narratives from Singapore and Malaya, Britain, Japan, America and Singapore’s regional neighbours, accounting for the diverse yet shared narratives of countries and people that have participated in and witnessed World War Two. This film programme –inspired by the exhibition Witness to War: Remembering 1942 – invites us to reflect upon the ways film across national borders remembers a shared history that continues to shape our reality today.
  • The event description was updated. Diff#303214 2017-12-20 12:40:40
Thu Jan 25, 2018
8:00 PM - 10:00 PM SGT
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Gallery Theatre, National Museum of Singapore
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Venue Address
Gallery Theatre, National Museum of Singapore, 93 Stamford Road Singapore
Witness to War: Remembering 1942