A young woman is forced by circumstance into a loveless marriage while still in love with another. This episodic tale follows their story through three decades of bitter conflict which engulfs their children and those around them.
Somewhat reminiscent of Kinoshita's most famous film, Twenty-Four Eyes, in that its story takes place in two time periods, before the war and after it. A war widow, Kinuyo Tanaka (who starred in Ugetsu, Red Beard and Equinox Flower, among others), reminisces about her short courtship with her soldier husband (Keiji Sada, who also starred in several Ozu films, as well as The Human Condition). This is a touching, if not especially memorable, little melodrama. There's not much conflict in it. Most of the action takes place in the flashback, and we're well aware of Sada's fate. There are a handful of really fine sequences, however. I would have liked a little more sense of the historical setting, but what little is there is certainly interesting. This can be found on HuluPlus in their Criterion section. They have hundreds of films available that have never been available on video. Many, like this one, probably never will be.
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