Haru, an aging scriptwriter, has isolated himself somewhere in the woods of Nagano to work on his first novel. As the last surviving member of his kin, he intends to chronicle the family he grew up in.
The men who surround and torment the young protagonist (demanding teacher, owner of the company that rapes his own daughter, despotic and uncompromising father) are opposed to women (victims of men) as embodiment of salvation.
After leaving high school, Michio Yamada (Norio Nagayama in the real life incidents) becomes involved in the shudan shushoku, a post-war Japanese government work program which involves ... See full summary »
Time; a few years after the surrender of Japan in the Second World War. The country is in ruins, economy devastated, and the vulnerable masses deprived of work; let alone the basic ... See full summary »
Shindo takes on the classic Natsume Sōseki novel and makes a very different film than Kon Ichikawa did in 1955. He sets the story in modern times (1973) and entirely eschews the post-trauma 'Sensei'-student relationship in favor of telling the tale that led to the destruction of Sensei's soul. Even then, he takes great liberties with the material, offering up potent visual metaphors to depict the novel's themes of struggle, self-control, betrayal, and the distance between all of us. The result is, surprisingly, more profound than Ichikawa's faithful adaptation, and another heartbreaking, deeply thoughtful triumph in the oeuvre of this unsung master of cinema.
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