This moving film, about the force of familial obligations in an authoritarian, patriarchal household during the Taisho period, is one of Ichikawa’s personal favorites, and possibly his greatest success in Japan.
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This is a good movie and many people in Japan have loved it (including Kurosawa), but it's not one of my favorite Ichikawas. The reason is that for once he was working with another screenwriter, Yoko Mizuki, rather than his usual collaborator: his wife, Natto Wadda. The sharpness and irony of the latter's usual work is missing here. As admirably restrained and intelligently acted as it is predictable.