After Japan's loss in the war, the wealthy, cultured, liberal Anjo family have to give up their mansion and their way of life. They hold one last ball at the house before leaving. The ...
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After Japan's loss in the war, the wealthy, cultured, liberal Anjo family have to give up their mansion and their way of life. They hold one last ball at the house before leaving. The seemingly cold, cynical son secretly grieves for his defeated father and the values that the war destroyed, while the daughter tries to prevent father from taking his life and to find her own place in the new Japan.Written by
John D. Baldwin <email@example.com>
This film was the very first of many collaborations between director Kôzaburô Yoshimura and screenwriter Kaneto Shindô. Yoshimura had been invited to a last house party given by a once rich but now impoverished noble family, and on returning home wanted to make a fictional film on the subject. He sought out a scriptwriter who would be interested in working on the project and located Shindô. The resulting film was voted the Best Film of its year by critics. Together, the two men would later co-found Kindai Eiga Kyokai (Modern Film Association), one of the first major postwar independent film production companies. Shindô would go on to become a famous director in his own right (e.g., The Naked Island (1960)). See more »
This shamefully neglected 1947 Japanese film will probably never be seen by most people. I was fortunate enough to catch it at a current Japanese film retrospective at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. It does not appear to be available on video. This is a shame, because it is much better than many better known Japanese films. It concerns a family that was a member of the Japanese nobility. During the forced democratization that occurred during the post-WWII occupation, they are forced to give up not only their titles but most of their wealth and property as well. The film superbly illustrates the role of status in individual identity and the extent to which loss of status can cause identity to disintegrate. It reminds me somewhat of Renoir's "Grand Illusion," which is also about the passing of the old order. It forced us to ask whether the existence of a nobility was any worse than the piratic capitalists who followed them. See this if you can!
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