(Shitamachi no taiyo, a.k.a. The Sunshine Girl)
BAMPFA Collection Print
Chieko Baisho, Kyoko Aoi, Michi Aoyama, Kamatari Fujiwara,
The second film of the prolific Yoji Yamada, best known for the classic Tora-san series, Shitamachi Sunshine was conceived by Shochiku as a simple vehicle for popular singer Chieko Baisho, but the socially idealistic Yamada had other ideas. Baisho (later a Tora-san staple) shines as a cheerful factory worker amidst the iron foundries and dirty riversides of Tokyo’s working-class Shitamachi area. Her upwardly mobile boyfriend dreams of living “in a sunny room” but also wants her to “stay quiet.” A hard-charging factory worker complicates matters in this fascinating study of postwar Japanese social mobility and a woman’s choice in the paths she takes.
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