Hideo (KAWAKANE Masanao), the youngest son of the NAGURA family, defies his father’s disapproval and plans a double suicide with Haruko (KISHI Keiko). However, only Haruko survives, and the act brings shame to the NAGURA family, who refuse to forgive her. Impregnated, Haruko gives birth to Suteo (KAWAZU Yusuke) and lives in the shadow of her past, feeling outcast.
Suteo finds solace in Sakura (KUGA Yoshiko), his 7-year-older cousin with whom he has fallen in love. However, Suteo’s forbidden love echoes his mother’s tragic story…
This deeply moving melodrama skilfully critiques family traditions and societal barriers in a post-war village with its non-linear storytelling. KINOSHITA Keisuke (1912-1998), a celebrated Japanese director, is known for a wide range of films, including The Ballad of Narayama and Army. He often explores the suffering, responsibilities, and moral dilemmas of individuals. Despite his significant contributions to Japanese cinema, he has remained somewhat overshadowed by other masters like KUROSAWA Akira, with many of his films yet to gain more international recognition.
Image Credit: ©1959 Shochiku Co., Ltd.
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