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"Hara, the most delicate member of the repertory company of actors gracing the works of the Japanese classicists, is here faced with slow marital suffocation, depicted with typical lucidity by director Mikio Naruse." – Senses of Cinema

Adapted from the novel by Nobel Prize winning author Yasunari Kawabata, this lyrical family drama from Japanese classicist Mikio Naruse (Floating Clouds) was among the director's personal favourites and remains a work of greatly affecting beauty.

No longer the familial daughter of Ozu's universe, Setsuko Hara here plays a wife trapped in a loveless marriage to the indolent, adulterous Ken Uehara, whose mistreatment has driven her into a friendship with her sensitive father-in-law (Tokyo Story's Sô Yamamura). Naruse's measured, melancholy craftsmanship ranks with the best of his more feted contemporaries Ozu and Mizoguchi, with the richly textured performances by Hara and Yamamura building toward an emotional finale – set on an eerie parkway that seems to stretch into infinity – destined to overwhelm anyone who experiences it.

"A work of immersive textures and perspectives." – Slant


Print courtesy of The Japan Foundation