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Ani imôto (1953)

In Older Brother, Younger Sister, director Mikio Naruse's adaptation of an oft-filmed popular novel by Saisei Murô, the eldest daughter (Machiko Kyô) of a rural family comes home pregnant, ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Mon
...
Inokichi - the Brother
...
San
Yûji Hori ...
Taiichi
Eiji Funakoshi ...
Kobata
Reizaburô Yamamoto ...
Akaza - the Father
Kumeko Urabe ...
Riki - the Mother
Mantarô Ushio ...
Kanichi
Ken'ichi Miyajima ...
Yoshizô
Kanji Kawahara
Zenji Yamada ...
Toyogorô
Noriko Honma
Kaku Takashina
Kan Takami
Gai Harada
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Storyline

In Older Brother, Younger Sister, director Mikio Naruse's adaptation of an oft-filmed popular novel by Saisei Murô, the eldest daughter (Machiko Kyô) of a rural family comes home pregnant, testing some already tenuous family bonds. Naruse shows his considerable skill at portraying household dynamics, filming Kyô in relaxed and/or reclining positions (indicative of her character's exhaustively maintained independence) that are then intruded upon by her ill-tempered older brother (Masayuki Mori), whose initially comic, brute-force presence grows increasingly menacing and treacherous as the film progresses.

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Drama

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Release Date:

19 August 1953 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Bruder und Schwester  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Connections

Remake of Ani imôto (1936) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Excellent
9 January 2012 | by (New Zealand) – See all my reviews

This is a very impressive Naruse effort, its reputation somehow lost in the mix between the better-known Repast and Sound of the Mountain. As did Flowing this one completely immerses you in its subjects' lives, capturing you with the gentle but increasingly subtly erratic and ominous rhythms of drama and editing. By the end we've reached a devastating climax fulfilled by a denouement of similarly grim yet beautiful ambiguity. My favourite moment may be the broken countershot near the end, which sets up to imply a flashback only to create a forward ellipse. It caps the film wonderfully.

Machiko Kyo is superb, but Reisaburo Yamamoto and Masayuki Mori overplay without the necessary depth to offset their excess. Yoshiko Kuga has always struck me as an actress who simply reads her lines, and she's bland here as usual but it works for the character. None of this hurts the film, though.


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