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A Town of Love and Hope (1959)

Ai to kibô no machi (original title)
A young man runs a scam selling pigeons that always return to his home. A rich girl takes an interest in him and tries to help him find a good job.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Fumio Watanabe ...
Yuji
Yuki Tominaga ...
Kyôko
Kakuko Chino ...
Miss Akiyama
Yûko Mochizuki ...
Kuniko
Fujio Suga ...
Kuhara
Hiroshi Fujikawa ...
Masao
Michio Ito ...
Yasue
Noboru Sakashita ...
Taizô
Toyoko Uryû ...
Isako
Yôji Doki
Taiko Goto
Keiji Ueda ...
Yano
Nobuo Takagi ...
Tamio
Hisashi Taki ...
Policeman
Yoshino Tani ...
Shoeshine
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Storyline

A young man runs a scam selling pigeons that always return to his home. A rich girl takes an interest in him and tries to help him find a good job.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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Drama

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Release Date:

17 November 1959 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

A Street of Love and Hope  »

Filming Locations:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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User Reviews

Pigeon Feathers
25 December 2004 | by (Kansas) – See all my reviews

Oshima Nagisa best known in the west for either his erotic film _The Realm of the Senses_ or the homosexual samurai drama _Gohatto_ began his career as a director with this film that just clocks in over one hour. As with his films _The Catch_ and _Death by Hanging_, _Street of Love and Hope_ concerns itself with the lives of people at the margins of society. People put outside the mainstream. In this film the viewer is introduced to the poor junior high student Masao and the struggles he faces just to help his family survive.

Masao seems to have the entire world against him. His father is dead, his mother is sick, and his little sister has a mental handicap and spends most of her days playing or drawing pictures of dead animals. Masao is a bright boy, but is torn between going to high school or getting a real job in order to support his family. He wants to get a job, but his mother is determined that he needs to go on to high school so that he can get a better job later on. Masao does all that he can do to make a little money for his family, including selling his younger sister's, Yasue's, pet pigeons. However, the selling of the pigeons is a bit of a scam because they, if they can get away, return to Masao's home. Therefore he can sell them over and over again. Masao is against it, but his mother insists that they have to do it in order to survive.

Masao's life suddenly changes one day when a rich girl named Kyoko purchases his pigeons for her younger brother. Kyoko seems to take a shine to the poor boy and because of this Masao's teacher Akiyama-sensei asks the girl if she can ask her father, who is the president of a company who makes electronics, if he can give Masao a job.

Kyoko and Masao's relationship goes well at first as well as Akiyama-sensei's relationship with Kyoko's older brother Yuji. However, always near the surface is the fact that Masao is poor. After Yuji learns that Masao has sold the pigeons several times, Kyoko and Masao's relationship is in danger.

Oshima's first film does a wonderful job portraying the lives of those left behind when Japan's economy was on the upswing. It shows the thick glass walls of class distinction and the true difficulty of both sides being able to come to terms with each other.


17 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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