The story centers on an uncomfortable love triangle – mother and daughter in love with the same brooding, incomplete male – that is sprung on us nearly at the halfway point. Naruse and Yuzo Kawashima share directing credit.
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Two directors on this? Neither of them exactly obscure rookies. The bar manager (Yamada Isuzu, excellent) is aging and the affair with the chef is the last thing she can cling to; her daughter, ignorant of the affair, also loves him; he's partially crippled from long marches through Siberian wastes. As the characters progress to their miserable fates the film feels more and more Naruse. And it really is a fine one.
3.2. I'm not sure how the two directors split duties, but this is definitely a film of two halves. The carefree, energetic suntribe fun quickly dissolves into the harsh reality of Naruse. It's got it all: Rape! Attempted suicide! Attempted forced double suicide! Forced double suicide murder suicide!