In a small village in a valley everyone who reaches the age of 70 must leave the village and go to a certain mountain top to die. If anyone should refuse he or she would disgrace their ... See full summary »
In Kabuki style, the film tells the story of a remote mountain village where the scarcity of food leads to a voluntary but socially-enforced policy in which relatives carry 70-year-old ... See full summary »
Two young guys work in a plant that manufactures oshibori (those moist hand-towels found in some Japanese restaurants). Their weird bond is based on uncontrollable rage--something neither ... See full summary »
An old man, being rowed along a river, sees a field of daisies (or Wild Chrysanthemums, as they are described in the title, or starworts, as they are referred to in the subtitles), and ... See full summary »
Kinoshita's ambitious and intensely moving film begins as a multi-generational epic about the military legacy of one Japanese family, before settling into an emotionally complex portrayal ... See full summary »
This is a well known movie in the history of Japanese movies. Sometime in my childhood, I heard the theme song every day on a radio. For long years this movie has been on my wish list.
And just few years ago, I read a news that the woman who triggered the making of the movie died. Mrs. Tanaka Kiyo, a wife of a lighthouse keeper, wrote about her own life for a women' magazine. A movie producer happened to read it and was heavily moved, who planned to make the movie.
Then this movie. This is by no means a sophisticated movie. Poor acting performance, particularly the lead actor Sada Keiji acts awkwardly. He does not cover well the ages from early 20s through late 40s. As for the screenplay, you can tell the differences in reality between the topics based on real stories and the fiction.
Nevertheless, this 160 minutes long movie has power that keeps audience attention until the end. I think the power comes from the reality it portrays, the fact that there actually are people who serve with their families for this thankless job of lighthouse keepers. Lighthouse keeper is a lonely, monotonous and somber job. Yet it is dangerous in case of storm. As most lighthouses are located in remote, secluded place, their families suffer heavily. This movie not only depicts the life of lighthouse keepers, but also let us think about the meaning of work and being wife and husband. The following conversation typically expresses it:
Wife(in bed of sickness): People must have forgotten us. I doubt even the ships going offshore know how much burden we are having to protect their safe navigation. Husband: Even if no one cares, it does not matter. My burden you know, your burden I know.
In 1950's when the movie was made, many Japanese were empathized with such view on labor. Today? I believe it still works.
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