On a beautiful island in Seto Inner Sea, Seichi and Minko make their living by transporting rocks to construction sites by boat. They cherish the deepest affection for this piece of land ... See full summary »
Tetsuo is a young man living in Tokyo, who falls in love with a deaf-mute factory girl. He has always felt jealous of his college- educated brother, but ultimately wins both the girl and ... See full summary »
A mysterious stranger appears at the door of a farmhouse on a stormy night and asks for shelter. The young widow who owns the farm puts him up in the barn. At dawn, he helps to deliver a ... See full summary »
Tora-San, an itinerant peddler who is thrown out of his father's house twenty years before but reconnects with his aunt, uncle and sister Sakura. Tora wreaks some havoc in their lives, like getting drunk and silly at a marriage meeting.
Hatsuko Umabuchi is a widow who runs a prosperous geisha house in present day Kyoto. Her daughter Yukiko returns from Tokyo following a failed suicide attempt, after her lover found out ... See full summary »
At the beginning of the film the father-in-law of the protagonist dies unexpectedly of a heart attack. The remainder of the film is episodic, moving from one incident to another over the ... See full summary »
A liberated small-town girl and the family's black sheep moves to Paris with her sister, only to find herself standing trial for the shocking murder of her young lover. Was his killing premeditated or was this a crime of passion?
Kiriko attempts to hire a well-known lawyer to defend her brother's murder case. The lawyer turns Kiriko down as she cannot afford him. Some time later, Kiriko encounters the lawyer again, but this time it is he who needs her help.
During a downpour, a generous ronin and his supporting wife are stranded at a country inn. The ronin comes to the attention of a lord who wants to hire him as an instructor for his men, who treat the ronin with disrespect.
The Japanese title "Kazoku" means "Family", but the story is what unlikely happens for ordinary families. A family of husband, wife, a boy, a baby girl and husband's father moves from a small island of Kyushu, where the husband worked for a small subcontractor of a coal mining company, to a livestock farm in eastern end of Hokkaido. Furthermore, they are Catholic, less than 1% of Japanese population.
The writer and director Yamada Yoji was 38 when he started to take the film. I don't know which he first determined, the title or the story. Perhaps he first wanted to portray something about families, then came up the story.
The husband has a dream to work without being ordered nor managed, but he lacks reality thinking. He is brave toward future issues, but is short-sighted and lacks decision toward present issues. The performance of Igawa Hisashi acting as such husband is superb. The wife is reluctant on his idea, but once she makes her mind to go to Hokkaido with him and their children, she acts pro-actively. Baisho Chieko acts the wife with superb performance too. Only flaw is that she is too beautiful. Every time they make an argument, the wife has solid opinion and it ends up the husband, as the head of the family, roars in temper.
On the IMDb web site I found the USA title was "Where Spring Comes Late". This makes sense to imply its happy ending where spring comes in June, after the tragic hard travel. But this title intently avoids original idea to portray tragedy and happiness of a family.
This film was released in 1970, in the era of high economic growth of Japan. You see many things that represent 1970 of Japan: Expo '70 held in Osaka, newly construct big factories, small family cars, crowded underground shopping mall, etc. It looks like present days in China.
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