In Medieval Japan, an elderly warlord retires, handing over his empire to his three sons. However, he vastly underestimates how the new-found power will corrupt them and cause them to turn on each other...and him.
An elder ronin samurai arrives at a feudal lord's home and requests an honorable place to commit suicide. But when the ronin inquires about a younger samurai who arrived before him things take an unexpected turn.
Elderly couple Shukishi and Tomi Hirayama live in the small coastal village of Onomichi, Japan with their youngest daughter, schoolteacher Kyoko Hirayama. Their other three surviving adult children, who they have not seen in quite some time, live either in Tokyo or Osaka. As such, Shukishi and Tomi make the unilateral decision to have an extended visit in Tokyo with their children, pediatrician Koichi Hirayama and beautician Shige Kaneko, and their respective families (which includes two grandchildren). In transit, they make an unexpected stop in Osaka and stay with their other son, Keiso Hirayama. All of their children treat the visit more as an obligation than a want, each trying to figure out what to do with their parents while they continue on with their own daily lives. At one point, they even decide to ship their parents off to an inexpensive resort at Atami Hot Springs rather than spend time with them. The only offspring who makes a concerted effort on this trip is Noriko ...Written by
Although made in the early 50s alongside many other Japanese films now considered classics - Rashomon (1950), Ugetsu (1953) and Gate of Hell (1953) - this didn't receive US release until 1964, by which time 'Yasujiro Ozu' was already dead. See more »
At timer mark 1:45:46, when the children are visiting their mother at home and leave the room to talk with the father in an adjoining room, just as they sit on the floor, you see the shadow of the boom-mic just drop into the scene and back out again, just over the sons head on the top right of the screen. This shadow is well into the frame against the edge of what appears to be a bookshelf and should not be considered a masking mistake of the projectionist. See more »
beautiful meditation on old age and family; simple and moving
I can't take my mind off this movie. The story is both universally human (old age, the end of life, parents and children) and specifically Japanese. The movie tells the viewer so much about Japanese middle class life in the 1950s: eating and sleeping; mourning the war dead; clothes and home furnishings; spoiled kids; a doctor's office; a schoolroom; life in Tokyo and small towns; how family members talk to each other; old men's drinking habits; a resort hotel. But while we see all these details of a real time and place, we are constantly drawn into reflection on the meaning of human life and relationships. The reflection emerges effortlessly from the simple narrative and the specifics. The director never annoyingly tells us how to feel, he is not preaching and not drawing attention to himself. (There is none of that "hey, I'm making a moving movie" crud that you get in Hollywood treatment of these topics). He just lets the story unfold in a quiet, natural way. It's not for folks who only like "action" movies. I put "action" in quotes because this movie is about the real action in life--enjoying life, sharing it with others, facing the end of it.
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