Yearning  乱れる Une femme dans la tourmente
Yearning  乱れる Une femme dans la tourmente

Une femme dans la tourmente Yearning 乱れる

(To see the cinemas where the movie is on)

It's a winter night and going to the movie seems a pretty good idea to pass the time. Well, here's a good movie to enjoy, Yearning.

One wouldn’t expect much when first seeing the poster for a black and white Japanese movie with such a title. It seems rather gloomy and depressing. Most of Japanese films shot after WWII were rather full of despair and not very hopeful for the future, lamenting over the changing times.

And yet, it would be a mistake to think that Yearning is merely a dull movie with endless reflections on the past.

The movie is set in a country town (probably close by Shizuoka). Reiko is war widow, around 35 year-old. Being very skilled at business, she runs the sake shop of her late husband (as the eldest son he would have been the heir one day) to support her mother-in-law and her younger brother-in-law. Somehow it does have a touch of Cinderella with the two selfish and money-loving sisters (admirably portrayed in this movie). The mother-in-law is kind an affectionate but worries about her remaining son, Koji, who seems unable to settle down and has just returned in Tokyo. The neighbourhood traditional shops are slowly dying away because of a new supermarket (the actual combini we all praise for being so useful) is getting all the customers with cheaper goods.

Reiko is then faced with a failing business that the rest of the family wish to start from scratch. To be able to do so, Reiko, the stranger, must go away for a thousand good reasons according to her calculating sisters-in-law: she is young, she should remarry and no longer sacrifice herself for the shop, she will be happy to have children of her own.... All is soon slowly set to make sure that the devoted sister-in-law will be happily married soon. But is Reiko willing to go away?

I will not say more because I wouldn’t want to spoil the end for the future viewers^^ but if you have time, definitely go and see this movie!

Yearning (1964) by Naruse Mikio

Naruse Mikio: famous moviemaker in Japan (over 80 movies in his whole career), he won the Kinema Junpo award in 1935 for Wife! Be like a rose (1935).

Morita Reiko: Takamine Hideko who appeared in many of Naruse’s movie (see Floating clouds, 1955, and When a woman ascends the stairs, 1960) she was known as Japan’s Shirley Temple.

Morita Koji: Kayama Yuzo, son of Ken Uehara who was himself a successful actor in the 30’s. His most famous movie is by Kurozawa Akira, Redbeard in 1965.

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