Seibei Iguchi, a low-ranking samurai, leads a life without glory as a bureaucrat in the mid-XIX century Japan. A widower, he has charge of two daughters (whom he adores) and a senile mother; he must therefore work in the fields and accept piecework to make ends meet. New prospects seem to open up when Tomoe, his long-time love, divorces a brutal husband. However, even as the Japanese feudal system is unraveling, Seibei remains bound by the code of honour of the samurai and by his own sense of social precedences. The consequences are cruel.Written by
Eduardo Casais <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Official submission of Japan for the 'Best Foreign Language Film' category of the 76th Academy Awards in 2004. See more »
Pieces of papers with text glued on kitchen door changing pattern during film. For whole time in multiple shots there is missing piece of paper in bottom right corner except only once in middle of movie, when Tomoe surprised returned Seibei in his own home. See more »
Father, If I learn to do needlework someday I can make kimonos. But what good will book learning ever do me?
Well, it probably won't ever be as useful as needlework. But you know, book learning gives you the power to think. However the world might change, if you have the power to think you'll always survive somehow. That's true for boys and for girls. All right?
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Performed by Yosui Inoue See more »
The settings and photography in this film are not "grand" but give the impression of realism and the grittiness of life in feudal times. The storytelling devices and attention to detail are core to the feeling I took away from this film, which was one of dipping into a tiny slice of time but seeing a myriad of ageless issues (honour, duty, grief, non-ambition, family priorities). However, what really impressed me was the way the main part (played by Hiroyuki Sanada) grew through the film. At the beginning of the film he seemed physically smaller, his whole demeanour and features were weak and insignificant. Having never seen him act before, I felt I was going to struggle to relate to this man as a lead role. It was incredible to see him (partly through acting and partly through subtle directing) grow into the figure we see at the end; he's taller with wide shoulders and strong features, yet remains a gentle and humble man. This is a very touching film and one which I could definitely watch over and over.
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