One of Ozu’s most popular films, I Was Born, But . . . is a blithe portrait of the financial and psychological toils of one family, as told from the rascally point of view of a couple of stubborn little boys.
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Beyond a reasonable doubt, the best coming-of-age film of all time. This film is about loss of innocence and the realisation that adults are just giant children. It's essential for any Ozu fan to see how his aesthetics came to be through this picture, and they are so fulfilling as always.
I love the way Ozu slowly reveals the essence of this film, which relates to the generational gap present in the majority of Ozu's work. The film is cyclical with the same path taken each day to school. Each time revealing something new, like a new behavior or new outlook on life. The train gates always come down, and the train always rumbles by, but the boys and their father change, age, and grow.
3-4. A reconciliation between children inside the complex social reality they inhabit. It may be an omen that the new generation has hope to live more authentically than the previous one. Even still, the nature of a system that threatens individual dignity doesn't necessarily change. The unhappinesses faced by the characters because of it isn't likely to change, either. Nice physical realism, overall, too.