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Schoolteacher Hisako Oishi struggles to imbue her students with a positive view of the world and their place in it, despite the fact that she knows full well that most of them will die in the war. Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
For English speaking people, there are not many movies available on DVD starring Hideko Takamine. This is one, and it is a masterpiece. Ms. Takamine plays a schoolteacher in a small Inland Sea village in Japan. The movie's time line is twenty years, from 1928 to 1948. These turbulent times affect the students she teaches, some of whom went off to war. There are many tears in this film, from the children and Takamine's character. The fact that "Auld Lang Syne" is used at times for background music heightens the feelings of loss & sadness, which does make up some of the story. This is somewhat of an anti-war film, but only as it affects the children and the teacher. Ms. Takamine is luminous in this role, as she is in every movie I've ever seen her in. The fact that the director Kinoshita Keisuke also directed her in "Carmen Comes Home" (the first ever Japanese film in color), a film light years away from this one, shows off their versatility in their craft. The only complaint I have is small, that the subtitles are somewhat annoying, since they are sometimes out of sync. However, a great movie is a great movie. This film won the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film. It is a richly deserved honor.
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