Japan film director Shindo dead at 100

TOKYO - Japanese film director Kaneto Shindo, known for hard-hitting works dealing with human nature and the effects of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, has died at his home in Tokyo, his office said Wednesday.

Shindo, who celebrated his 100th birthday last month, died early Tuesday, producer Tetsuo Satonaka said.

Shindo directed nearly 50 films, with his final work, "A Postcard" winning the special jury prize at the Tokyo International Film Festival in 2011.

Born in Hiroshima, he studied screenwriting while working as an art assistant for the renowned director Kenji Mizoguchi.

After making his debut as a director in 1951, he came to international attention with "Children of Hiroshima" when it was premiered at the 1953 Cannes Film Festival.

The 1952 film portrayed a young female school teacher who returns to Hiroshima, hoping to find survivors among her students, after the city was devastated by the 1945 US atomic bombing.

Shindo won the Grand Prix at the 1961 Moscow international film festival with "The Naked Island", a film with no dialogue that depicted the hardship of a couple and their children living alone on a small island.

Also acclaimed as a screenwriter and author, Shindo headed the Japan Writers' Guild from 1972 to 1981.

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