Director: Yasujirō Ozu
Runtime: 84 minutes
In this rare melodramatic entry from director Yasujirō Ozu’s filmography, Kinuyo Tanaka plays Tokiko, a young wife and mother, who awaits her husband Shuichi’s repatriation from the war. Struggling to make ends meet on her own, she undertakes sex work for one night to pay for her ailing child’s medical treatment. Shuichi’s discovery of this, upon returning home, threatens to unravel their relationship. Tanaka’s measured, raw emotional performance becomes emblematic of the deeply personal ways in which the traumas of war reverberated across to the women on the homefront.
Completed in 1947, the screenplay for a more lighthearted film entitled The Moon Has Risen was meant to be realised as Ozu’s second post-WWII film. However, due to production difficulties, the project was shelved in favour of A Hen in the Wind–a more poignant commentary of the harsh realities of Japan’s reconstruction period. The Moon Has Risen was later directed by Tanaka herself in 1955.
Retrospective: Kinuyo Tanaka is held in conjunction with Japanese Film Festival Singapore, and has been made possible with the generous support of the Japan Foundation.
For the full Retrospective: Kinuyo Tanaka programme, please visit here.
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