Authentic description of Japanese home front lives in WW2
This is a beautiful film about 'home front' people's lives in August 1945 in Japan. This is a poetic drama with integrity whose beauty can be described only by telling the whole story.
The location is a rural village in the country's most southern part except Okinawa. People talk about air strafing or bombings by American warplanes and about where American army will land.
Yasuo Hidaka, who is 16 and discharged because of lung illness and whose close friend, he thinks more worth surviving than himself, was killed by air raid right in front of his eyes, loses himself. Shigenori Hidaka, his stern grandfather and veteran, helps 'the Imperial Army' by providing with foodstuff the camp held nearby. It is told Yasuo's parents are in Manchu then governed by Japan. This is one story line. Another is about a family of their hired girl, Natsu Miyawaki. The family lost the father in Southeast Asia. The confused mother, Ine, has affairs with an soldier of an undisciplined nature, Toyoshima, while her son is working in rice fields. A few things happen, then these two main story lines develop into rather typical endings which can be expressed by words like 'restarting' or 'liberation'.
All actors and actresses are very good. So are the location, the set, the music. But I like the script most. In some scenes the dialogues are funny, in others modest, intellectual and realistic (by 'realistic' I mean the way they spoke in Imperialism Japan, which is fairly shocking to the Japanese of today.) This film is flawless.
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