Based on Rinzo Shiina’s absurdist novel, the film focuses on the microcosm of a house in 1950s Tokyo. Ryukichi (Ken Uehara) and Hiroko (Kinuyo Tanaka) are a married couple who, despite having two upstairs lodgers living with them, are desperately poor and go to complicated lengths to avoid unwanted pregnancies. In a bid to help their situation out, Hiroko secretly takes on a part-time job which aggravates Ryukichi who senses that his wife (who had been married once before but was seemingly widowed in WWII) is hiding something from him. He appears to be vindicated when a child is abandoned on their doorstep by someone who claims to be Hiroko first husband. Widely regarded as the work most representative of Gosho’s concern for the lives of lower-middle class individuals, this drama (entered into the 3rd Berlin International Film Festival) is a rare find that focuses on marriage and family life in the post-war period of industrialisation.
This screening will not feature adverts or trailers and will start promptly at the advertised time.
Screening as part of The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2019.