Director: Yasujirō Ozu
Runtime: 118 minutes
Wealthy Tokyo businessman Wataru Hirayama is confronted with his own conservative ways when his elder daughter, Setsuko, defies his plans for an arranged marriage to be with a partner of her own choosing. Although unwavering at first, he eventually accepts the evolving societal values of the times.
Kinuyo Tanaka, co-stars as Wataru’s wife Kiyoko—portraying a throwback to traditional wife-mother roles of her earlier career. Expressing a gentle defiance to patriarchal control, she gracefully stands up to the stubborn petulance of her husband.
Yasujirō Ozu’s first colour film ever, Equinox Flower, also marks the twilight era for both Ozu and Tanaka’s film careers, which spanned almost five decades up to that point. With the lack of opportunities for veteran actresses, Tanaka took a hiatus from leading roles, appearing more as supporting characters. She was mainly a television actress by the mid-1960s, until her autumnal recognition in Kei Kumai’s 1974 film Sandakan No. 8—a role that won her the Best Actress Award at the Berlin International Film Festival.
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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