Kaneto Shindo, director of Cannes favourite Children Of Hiroshima and cult hit Onibaba, has died at the age of 100. He directed nearly 50 films and wrote almost 300 screenplays, also winning acclaim as a novelist.
At the heart of Shindo's work was the spectre of the atomic bomb, with his several film essays on the subject considered definitive works. Early films about war, feudalism and Japanese tradition gave way to studies of the social and personal effects of weapons of mass destruction, bringing an intimate quality to debates of international import. He was also notable for the strong female characters in his films. He was particularly concerned about the effects of poverty and destruction on women's lives.
Known throughout his life for his hard work and dedication, Shindo was creatively active right up to the end, with Postcard, the story of a soldier who promises to deliver a comrade's last note to his wife, winning the Special Jury Prize at last year's Tokyo Film Festival.