A young boy has formed an idealized image of his father, who has yet to be repatriated from Russia. When they finally meet they fail to get along. The boy withdraws more and more into himself, and the picture is concerned with how the two gradually develop a love for each other.
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Quintessentially Japanese melodrama over family values, which in Gosho's hands is elevated into a first-class diatribe in child psychology as the focus is a boy's (an excellent little Shitara) unusual palette of colors. Drawing heavily, and most likely, on Piaget's studies of children's drawings, the film turns into an engrossing character study of work-recognition, conjugal perseverence, love and domestic morals.
Eight years after going off to war a man is repatriated (judging by the haunted expression probably from somewhere horrible, like Siberia), meets his wife and nine year-old son, and has to figure out how to live in the real world again. The father's anguish is mirrored by his son, who sees this sullen unknown person move into his contented life with Mother then take over, leading to the film's powerful final scenes.
A heartfelt look at child behaviour and how war affects long after its conclusion. Somewhere buried in that muddy and blurred copy I saw lurks a beautiful film. A major theme concerns colour representing emotional state and I can only assume that the rather sickly green/yellow tint is deliberate rather than
film deterioration, but I could be wrong. Side note: the final bit of music sounded strangely like early Eno.