Hatsuko Umabuchi is a widow who runs a prosperous geisha house in present day Kyoto. Her daughter Yukiko returns from Tokyo following a failed suicide attempt, after her lover found out ... See full summary »
A Documentary Like Look at the Lives of Some Steel Workers
This movie is a very Japanese look at the meaning of a life spent at work. The setting is an enormous steel plant in Japan. It is so large that it is practically a city in itself. It has its own housing for its workers, as well as its own shops, restaurants and recreation centers. It is so large that it is easy to see its workers as little more than ants or cogs in one vast machine, and indeed, this is part of the theme of the movie. The plot centers around two friends: Suda and Sagawa. Suda is new to the plant and is starting to despair at the idea of spending the rest of his life there. Sagawa has accepted his role at the factory but courts discontent when he falls in love with a woman from the secretarial pool, whose family feels that he is not good enough for her. In addition, there are plenty of other characters and sub-plots. Overall, the movie asks some basic questions about life: Is there any meaning to a life spent just living for work? And just what should a person look for in a potential marriage? Despite what feels like a rushed ending, and a ten minute documentary style opening (which personally I found interesting, but most people would probably find annoying) the movie is consistently interesting. Very recommended.
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