A sendup of the stereo-typical Japanese family: dad is a salaryman jerk, unable to relate to anyone; mom is a hopeless housewife; the older son is a moderate academic success; but the ... See full summary »
Pasqualino, an Italian everyman, deserts the army during World War II. Germans capture him and send him to a prison camp, where he does just about anything to survive. In lengthy flashbacks... See full summary »
When an American plane crashes in the Cambodian jungle, the pilot is taken captive by the Khmer Rouge. They instruct the kids of a village to keep an eye on the prisoner. While the younger ... See full summary »
Director Kazuo Hara tells the tale of the eponymous Chika and four different relationships she has during the turbulent political climate of the 1970s. Four different actresses play the ... See full summary »
Goro's supermarket is not doing well; the rival "Bargains Galore" threatens his business. A chance encounter with Hanako, an energetic woman he knew in grade school, results in big retail ... See full summary »
Japanese filmmakers have a gift for translating the tenets of humanist thought onto celluloid. Akira Kurosawa created several such masterpieces, from Ikiru to the triumphant Red Beard; Shunji Iwai contributed the wacky but thought-provoking Swallowtail; Juzo Itami gave us Daibyonin (The Last Dance) and this little treasure.
Iiyo is regarded as one of society's unfortunates, a "retard" as one schoolgirl exclaims, but he has a lovely, even enviable world view, one which, admittedly, the people closest to him are slow to pick up on. In fact, the "normal" folks in this film seem almost neurotic, as they manufacture complex and troublesome meanings and motives to explain Iiyo's behavior.
Long ago, a college professor advised me and 499 classmates to try to experience the world through the eyes of a severely handicapped person. He promised that it would be a most rewarding exercise. Juzo Itami captured this sentiment on film in a beautiful and thoughtful way.
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