An epic follows strives of three generations of a poor lineage against their doomed fate. It is mostly concentrated on the matter of born-farmer youths who left their parents to become warriors. Kinoshita shows this break up in search of hope and status as a recurring cycle of death and doom. HidekoTakamine as a wrinkled old mother trying to prevent her sons to not going to war is a never forgotten poignant scene.
Kinoshita wasn't known for lavish war epics, rather intimate politically tinged family tragedies, but you get it all here, a strange samurai jidai-geki in black and white colored with shocking bursts of symbolic painted lenses. A unique, haunting film.