Following World War II, a retired professor approaching his autumn years finds his quality of life drastically reduced in war-torn Tokyo. Denying despair, he pursues writing and celebrates his birthday with his adoring students.
This film tells the story of professor Uehida Hyakken-sama (1889-1971), in Gotemba, around the forties. He was a university professor until an air raid, when he left to become a writer and has to live in a hut. His mood has hardly changed, not by the change nor by time. Every year his students celebrate his birthday, issuing the question "Mahda kai?" (not yet?), just to hear Uehida-san's answer "Madada yo!" (No, not yet!), in a ritual of self affirmation, and desires of lasting forever. It's a very "japanese" film who portrays everyday life and customs in Japan. Written by
Jaime Moraga <email@example.com>
Tatsuo Matsumura was 79 years old when he played the Professor, portraying the professor between the ages of 58 and 77. Matsumura was older than his character throughout the movie, almost twenty years older than the Professor he portrayed for most of the picture. See more »
The story depicts Professor Hyakken's 60th birthday toward the end of World War II (1943-1945). But he was born in 1889; thus, he turned 60 years old in 1949. See more »
Sensitive Low-Paced Worship of Knowledge, Friendship and Life
In a pre-WWII Tokyo, the professor of German Hyakken Uchida (Tatsuo Matsumura) decides to retire after thirty years of professorship, and dedicate to the career of writer. His students, some of them from different generations, love him and keep a close touch with the professor and his wife (Kyôko Kagawa) along his life. In 1943, the house of the professor is bombed, he loses all his possessions and moves to a simple gardener cottage. After the war, his former students build a new small house with a lake around, and every year along seventeen years, in the professor's birthday, they have a reunion with a funny ceremony, based on children's hide and seek and referring if the professor is ready to die. They ask the professor: "-Mahda-kai?" ("Are you ready?"), and the professor responds "-Madadayo!" ("Not yet?") and drinks a large glass of beer.
"Madadayo" is the last direction of Master Akira Kurosawa, and is a sensitive low-paced worship of knowledge, friendship and life. I found this movie very beautiful, and I would like to highlight some points. First of all, the character of the professor Hyakken Uchida, capable of be adored by his students of different generations, very connected to a cat, living with his beloved wife but without kids. There is no explanation, but it seems quite contradictory a man of such profile not having son or daughter. Another interesting point is the changing of behavior of Japanese society with women (and family) along time. In the sixty-first anniversary of the professor (First Madadayo), there are only men in the meeting room, in spite of war finished a few years ago. Seventeen years later, the room is crowded of men, women and children. The conclusion of the story, showing that life goes on, is awesome! Last but not the least, the music score is magnificent. My vote is nine.
Title (Brazil): "Madadayo"
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