Scen.: Kennosuke Tateoka, Keiji Hasebe. F.: Yoshio Miyajima. M.: Nobu Osada. Scgf.: Kazuo Kubo. Mus.: Yasushi Akutagawa. Sound: Michio Okazaki. Int.: Chikage Awashima (Machiko Yoshida), Yunosuke Ito (Ichiro, il marito), Koji Shitara (Kiyoshi, il figlio), Kinuyo Tanaka (Yukiko Matsumoto), Yoshiko Kuga (Yasuko Ashihara), Jun Tatara (Akizuki), Toshio Takahara (Suzuki), Choko Iida (la nonna di Toroku), Zeko Nakamura (Okamoto), Yoichi Numata (Murakami). Prod.: Shochiku. 35mm. Col
Gosho’s first colour film is a moving drama of postwar experience from one of the Japanese cinema’s most intelligent dramatists. After a decade as a prisoner-of-war in the Soviet Union, Ichiro returns to a changed Japan and settles uneasily back into his professional and family life. The film focuses on his strained relationship with his son, Kiyoshi. Characteristically for Gosho, the film is exceptionally well acted: the hangdog expression of Yunosuke Ito effectively incarnates the troubled father, while there are also excellent performances from its trio of star actresses, Kinuyo Tanaka, Yoshiko Kuga and Chikage Awashima.
The “Kinema Junpo” critic complained about the script’s lack of refinement, but praised Gosho for his attentive approach to the film’s very serious subject matter, and commented on the way in which the precision of his direction lent strength to the film’s second half. Arthur Nolletti, Jr salutes the film as “an honest and affecting exploration of a troubled father-son relationship”, but claims that its “chief importance […] lies in its experimental use of colour”, which serves “to represent psychological states of mind in purely visual terms”, and notes that “Gosho even consulted experts on the relationship between color and child psychology and incorporated what he learned into the film”. Yellow was, Gosho said, his favourite colour, but the yellow and black colour scheme of the film apparently derived from specialist observations about the colours favoured by children whose fathers were dead or absent. The film also provides a colourful record of the picturesque townscapes of the old capital of Kamakura, south of Tokyo, at that date still relatively untouched by modernisation.