Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB. Japan, 1958. Daiei Kyoto, Daiei Motion Picture Company. Screenplay by Kon Ichikawa, Keiji Hasebe, Yukio Mishima, Natto Wada. Cinematography by Kazuo Miyagawa. Produced by Masaichi Nagata. Music by Toshiro Mayuzumi. Production Design by Yoshinobu Nishioka. Costume Design by Toshiaki Maki. Film Editing by Shigeo Nishida.
A son of a recently deceased priest is sent to another monastery when the one he lived at with his family is taken by creditors. A sullen fellow, the young man lives with the shame of his hatred for his mother, whom he believes betrayed his father, and the frustration of his own conflicted feelings for his new surroundings. His only deep affection is for the temple on the monastery’s grounds, a holy Buddhist shrine that he refuses to see sullied in any way and with which he develops a very devoted connection. This deeply felt film by Kon Ichikawa isn’t among his best, but like all the director’s works has a spiritual element that is palpable to say the least. The widescreen black and white photography is stunning.