[La canzone del paese natio] · Scen.: Ryunosuke Shimizu. F.: Tatsuyuki Yokota. Int.: Sueko Ito (madre di Naotaro), Shiro Kato (Junsaku, padre di Jun’ichi), Kentaro Kawamata (Jun’ichi Okamoto), Hiromichi Kawata (il preside della scuola), Shigeru Kido (Naotaro Takeda), Shizue Matsumoto (la madre di Jun’ichi), Yutaka Mimasu (lo studente americano), Ichiro Shibayama (l’ispettore scolastico), Michiko Tachibana (Taro Maesaka), Masujiro Takagi (il padre di Naotaro), Mineko Tsuji (Okinu). Prod.: Nikkatsu · 35mm.
Mizoguchi’s earliest surviving film is an educational film which focuses on themes of social class and the contrast between the rural and the urban. This brief but touching drama adheres to a more conventional shooting style than that of Mizoguchi’s later work, but particular shots hint at his future flair for staging action in depth. As elsewhere in the world, silent films in Japan were routinely tinted and toned, but few surviving prints preserve the original colour. This is a rare example of a Japanese silent of which a tinted nitrate print was recovered and donated to the National Film Center in 2011. The print had deteriorated beyond the point of saving; however the tinting colours had survived on the edge of the film, which gave the necessary colour information for the creation of a new tinted restoration using a traditional tinting technique of the negative previously held in the National Film Center’s collection. This restoration enables viewers to see the film in its full beauty.