Two sisters, one a dancer and the other a script supervisor at a big movie studio, become embroiled in union activities when a strike is called in sympathy with striking railroad workers, ... See full summary »
In 1933, in Kyoto, academic freedom is under attack and the spoiled daughter of Professor Yagihara, Yukie Yagihara, is courted by the idealistic student Ruykichi Noge and by the tolerant Itokawa. When the academic freedom movement is crushed by the fascists, Professor Yagihara and the members of the Faculty of Law resign from their positions and Noge is arrested. Five years later, Noge visits Professor Yagihara and his family under the custody of the now Prosecutor Itokawa and tells them that he is going to China. Yukie decides to move alone to Tokyo and years later, she meets Itokawa in Tokyo and tells her that Noge is living in Tokyo. Yukie visits Noge and they become lovers. In 1941, Noge is arrested accused of being the ringleader of a spy network and Yukie is also sent to prison. When she is released, she decides to move to the peasant village where Noge's parents live and are blamed of being spies by the villagers. She changes her lifestyle and works hard with Madame Noge ...Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The scenes of the student demonstrations, filmed outside the gate of Kyoto University, contains fairly older looking students. That was because, aside from the main cast of characters, the rest of the "students" were played by all the assistant directors in an effort to keep costs low. See more »
I want a job that I can dedicate myself to, body and soul. My father said when I left home: "There will be sacrifice in the struggle for freedom." I want to do something in which I can consume myself.
That's not easy. How does one find such a job? It's like finding a bluebird.
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Japanese neorealism - the fight against fascism in Japan
I went to my local DVD rental store and found this early Kurosawa made just after the end of the World War 2. Curiously this film, "No regrets for my youth" was dubbed in Italian. This was kind of annoying as I like to see the films in their original language, but anyway as I've already seen so many films dubbed in English, why not Italian? Well, maybe it was the Italian dubbing, but I couldn't fail to see the similarity between "No regrets for my youth" and the neorealist films made in Italy just after the war. Coincidence? Anyway, Kurosawa was mainly influenced by the Soviet cinema.
"No regrets for my youth" tells the story of the fight of some students against the militarist regime in Japan and their different destinies throughout the years, but the film focuses mainly on Yukie, that we see in the beginning, just as a spoilt girl, flirting with revolutionary games. She's very sensitive and soon notices how alienated from reality she is. The military government is slowly tightening its iron grip and silencing the opposition. Idealism has become dangerous in Japan.
Yukie now sees what's happening. She's very passionate in whatever she does. Yukie makes no compromises, but she's no fool either. The film will describe her journey - first, the fires of adolescence when the world seems to be out there just to fulfill her wishes, then self-awareness, fight, disillusion, suffering.... She and her friends will arrive to different conclusions and tread different roads.
In a way, "No regrets for my youth" is a coming of age film, in which politics, emotion and sex play an important role. Yukie wants to find her place in the world. She's not satisfied with her life and she's not satisfied with the world in which she's living. She wants to change them. "No regrets for my youth" shows how she tries to live up to her ideals.
In "No regrets for my youth" (as I said before) we feel the influence the Soviet (and Italian) masters had on Kurosawa. We see here a young Kurosawa - more spontaneous and enthusiastic (another Kurosawa film, more or less, along the same line is "Stray Dog" that takes place in post-war Japan). The camera is used effectively to show the landscape and people. The acting is more natural. We are spared the exaggerated gestures and movements that are seen in some of his later films. Setsuko Hara who plays Yukie is an extraordinary actress. She helps the film to achieve a truly great emotional depth. Highly recommended!
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