Bay Area Premiere of Digital Restoration
Setsuko Hara, Ineko Arima, Chishu Ryu, Isuzu Yamada,
Yasujiro Ozu’s last black-and-white film finds him in an unusually melodramatic mode. Set among the twilit interiors, dingy bars, and mahjong parlors of Tokyo’s seedier quarters, the story tells of two sisters living with their father. The elder has fled an unhappy marriage; the younger, unmarried, is rapidly sliding into delinquency and worse. When the sisters discover that their mother, formerly presumed dead, is in fact living nearby, a series of disasters ensues. Setsuko Hara gives a stunning performance as the elder sister trying to hold together a broken family. Her mixed loyalties and her final, painful choice give the film its crushing emotional weight.