I Was Born, But . . .
(Umarete wa mita keredo)
Copresented by the San Francisco Silent Film Festival
Tatsuo Saitō, Mitsuko Yoshikawa, Hideo Sugawara, Tokkan Kozo,
I Was Born, But . . . is a comedy, but a “serious” one. A typical wage earner moves to the suburbs with his typical wife and two delightfully atypical sons, aged eight and ten. The boys pass quickly through the neighborhood rites of initiation but are confronted with their father’s politics of submissiveness when asked to kowtow to the boss’s prissy son. The recognition of the falseness of adult behavior, which they at first innocently reflect, then challenge, and finally must accept, marks another sort of initiation for the boys—their loss of innocence. I Was Born, But . . . is an early classic of the shomin-geki genre, films about middle-class manners and mores.