Although some of the early melodrama exhausted me, I have yet to see another Japanese film explore the pre-war and post-ww2 themes as well as this one. Had some powerful and heartbreaking moments and the length was needed to establish the characters and relationships, as well as the change of time in a small town in Japan.
Superior anti-war melodrama, Kinoshota's best work maybe, "24 Eyes" spans two decades in the life of a primary school teacher (a great H. Takamine!) in her attempt to inculcate to children in a remote island the values of international solidarity, peace and justice. The idyllic play under the cherry-blossoms gives gay to tragedy and to the painful realization that education cannot overcome ideology. Stunning!
Film fiume non solo perché supera i vent'anni di storia e le 2ore e1/2 di durata,ma perché fatto di lacrime:dei personaggi(non ho mai visto piangere così tanto in un film,scelta necessaria per esprimere con il corpo ciò che la società proibisce di dire a parole)e del pubblico(impossibile non commuoversi,soprattutto nei momenti di tenerezza enfatizzati dal contesto drammatico).Un film che parla sfacciatamente al cuore
Although the character of the Teacher is well developed and her free minded spirit sets an unbiased contrast to the scarring experience of the war, the length of the film works against the story. Just as excessive sentimentalism, too many tears and a lemme-slash-my-wrists music do.
How to tell a story like this one, full of strong sentiments and powerful political implications, without falling in an apology of nationalism or guilty feelings for what happened? I got the answer watching this film: telling it from the point of view of the simple people and their everyday life, ordinary people whose only wish is to live enjoying peace and happiness... My mother would love watching this film!
For all its sentimentality, the film succeeds well as an epic lamentation for lost innocence. It's at its strongest when Kinoshita allows an easy pace (especially the opening and concluding acts) allowing both action and scenery to breathe. By contrast I felt it lost momentum when forcing too much plot. In a strange way, the film is at its most impassioned and angry when it conveys things in its most gentle way.
It's a simple yet powerful story, very emotional, filled with nostalgy and sadness. Set in difficult and turbulent time for Japan explains the conflict between strive for a peaceful, quiet life and loyalty to the state. I'm surprised how this film stays relevant to this day. Masterfully directed, some shots are absolutely beautiful. I also enjoyed the traditional songs in this film. Excellent!
I really enjoyed this film. Yes, it uses the trick of using children to emotionally affect us, but it's so much more powerful than that alone. And I'll admit it, it really did affect me emotionally. Hedako Takamine's character is so genuine and true to what's important in life.
Beautiful movie about a group of children, following their lives from the time of starting school through the war years. The movie offers deep insights into small town life, coping with poverty and the impact of WWII on both the boys who went to serve and their families. Bring kleenex.
I figured this would be good, but what an unexpected delight "Twenty-Four Eyes" was. It follows a Japanese woman's life as a teacher, and her effect on her first class of first-graders. Don't let the sing-song vibe of the first 45 minutes fool you. It's sentimental throughout, but this turns into a very effective, somber melodrama by the end. The lyrical juxtaposition of pedagogy and subordination is superb.