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.
A young boy has formed an idealized image of his father, who has yet to be repatriated from Russia. When they finally meet they fail to get along. The boy withdraws more and more into ... See full summary »
Katsuo Nakamura is a layabout. His hardworking mother -- she gets 30 yen for each paper rose she assembles -- gets him a job at Ryûji Kita's factory, but he hates everything: the hard work, the grind, the elegantly calligraphed letters his mother writes, the attentive kindness and encouragement of his supervisor. He doesn't have to fall into bad company, he's already in it, but he falls in with the worst of them all: Kita's son, Akira Ishihama.
Keisuke Kinoshita's movie attempts to get into the mind of Nakamura's character. He seems to be lazy because he feels he can't really get ahead. In a Japanese society that was rapidly growing richer in the period of this movie, there is much to desire, whether it's a pack of cigarettes or sushi or women, but he sees no prospect of getting any of these themselves, only as the unthinking gifts of those who have more than they possibly use; and those people, to whom everything is given without effort, have nothing to strive for. They are bored, in search of new thrills. These people -- exemplified by Ishihama -- recognize the gifts they have been given, search for something they can do. Trained to stupidity and laziness, in a world where everything can be gotten just by asking his parents, he has nothing to offer except pain.
It's a dark movie by Kinoshita, devoid of his usual flashes of black humor, and at times painful to watch. Its also brilliant.
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