Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB. Japan, 1931. Shochiku Kinema. Screenplay by Kogo Noda, adaptation & story by Komatsu Kitamura, Kogo Noda. Cinematography by Hideo Shigehara. Production Design by Minzo Kakuta, Tsunetaro Kawasaki, Beijiro Tanaka, Yonekazu Wakita. Costume Design by Ko Saito. Film Editing by Hideo Shigehara.
Early Ozu feature about the breadwinner of a Tokyo family who puts himself in dire need thanks to his devotion to principle. After an older employee at their insurance firm is fired for what our hero feels is unfair prejudice, Okajima quits in protest as well. It’s an admirable move, but it also is not long before he finds himself struggling to continue providing for his family while falling in stature with his children. Imagine all the subtle perfection of Ozu’s attention to personal details, made so much more delicate by the lack of synchronized sound, only missing the lyricism that would develop by the time of his awesome works in the fifties.