In this fine example of Ozu’s domestic melodramas, childless husband Mokichi (Shin Saburi) and wife Taeko (Michiyo Kogure) are facing into unhappy middle age. Theirs was an arranged marriage, with Mokichi having climbed the necessary post-war social ladders to become worthy of the city-bred daughter of a rich family. The differences that remain between them in their outlooks and desires are thrown into sharp relief when their niece Setsuko (Keiko Tsushima) comes to them for help with the prospective husband who has been lined up for her. A more modern woman, she wishes to choose for herself, inspired by her observations of her aunt and uncle, the latter of whom secretly supports her intention of marrying for love. Shot with a lightly comedic touch, the film nonetheless offers insight into a period of transition for Japanese society.
Screening as part of the Japanese Story season, December 4th-19th.