Two Japanese scientists, Ushioda and Ochi, develop a bond with their sled dogs while on an expedition in Antarctica. Ushioda and Ochi eventually leave Antarctica, only to return to search ... See full summary »
Kanichiro Yoshimura is a Samurai and Family man who can no longer support his wife and children on the the low pay he receives from his small town clan, he is forced by the love for his ... See full summary »
Ryoko Itakura is a government tax agent who has just landed a big promotion. Her first assignment is to catch wheeler-dealer Hideki Gondo. She has a tough job, since in Japan tax evasion is... See full summary »
Leaving her alcoholic husband, Eiko takes their son Masaya away from Tokyo and back to her hometown in a Kyushu rural mining community. She toils to support him though many years of ... See full summary »
After the collapse of their relationship, Kiwako abducts the 6-month old child of a man she was having an affair with. Raising the child as her own, it is four years before the authorities catch up with her and the young child.
For many people this will be an emotional movie. I was one of them. It is a story of duty taking precedence over family. Unfortunately I know the situation intimately due to conflicts between military service and family. Like the station master I chose duty at the expense of family. The story of what his daughter would have been like is told over several episodes. First as a grade schooler, then a teenager and finally as a young adult. I found myself thinking the same thing - how would my child have developed. It was profoundly moving. You also see the respect that others had for the station master. It came from young railway men and fellow towns people old alike. The concluding scenes were as moving as any of the others in the film.
For train buffs, the steam engines are excellent and even the 1 car diesels are good. In my part of Japan the diesels are quite common.
Hokkaido is a place where towns are dying and railways are disappearing as the movie alludes to. I am writing this in a hotel lobby in Sapporo, Hokkaido, in weather similar to the movie. It has an added touch of reality.
I recommend this film to all who have an interest in Japan and life in the far north.
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