The credits indicate that the script was based on an original work by a foreign writer with a name that sounds like "Winzart Monet", but it is actually a gag name, derived from "without money". See more »
This is a silent film by Ozu, and it is brilliant both in its simple telling of the story and its development of the characters. This film is about a father, Kihachi, who has two small sons and is looking for work, so they can eat. He meets a young mother with a daughter and for a while she is out of the film. Near the end of his rope, he runs into an old female friend, who finds work for him and enables the boys to go to school. The young mother has come to the town with her daughter and he looks to help her, but is also interested in her. As simple as this sounds, the film is wrought with emotion, and is brilliant in that your own thoughts could be somewhat mixed about this. Shouldn't he be more grateful to the (female) friend who helped him find work? One of Ozu's best qualities is to show sadness, happiness and fear in its most basic, raw forms. The acting, even by the children, is uniformly wonderful. Even Mr. Ryu, whom I believe to be one of the greatest if not the greatest character actors in film history, is in this film in a small role. Ozu's films are methodically slow moving mostly, this one included, but I have always felt that prospective film makers should study his work to understand the virtues of simplicity in telling a story on film. Up there with Ozu's best. Possibly not as good as "Tokyo Story" and "Late Spring" but very highly recommended.
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