An essential piece for understanding Yasujiro Ozu's later masterpieces.


The Yoshi family has just moved to the Tokyo suburbs, close to where the father Kennosuke's direct boss, Iwasaki is staying. Kennosuke's two young sons Keiji and Ryoichi must start classes at the new school but are frightened by some bullies. At the same time, the children's admiration for their father will be shattered when they discover how their father treats their boss. At that time, the children will go on a hunger strike.

The film is a wonderful way to understand the origins of Ozu's realism in a tender movie that combines compelling themes such as respect, family, life changes, and ambition with a gentle tone of comedy.

I Was Born, But... has a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes with an average of 7.97/10. It also has a score of 91 out of 100 on Metacritic. Critic A. O. Scott wrote, "Everything in this film is utterly believable, so much so that at times it seems almost anecdotal, a sweet little anthology of kids doing the darndest things. That it is more — a small masterpiece, perfect in design and execution — almost goes without saying, but the film’s profundity and its charm go hand in hand." It ranked 183rd in the 2012 Sight & Sound critics' poll of the greatest films ever made.

Author and Film Critic, Stephen Amos claimed 'There is an underlining darkness in the film, one that reflects the difficulty of the time and the inevitability of disappointment – a theme which laces much of Ozu’s work.

The film is a wonderful way to understand the origins of Ozu's realism in a tender movie that combines compelling themes such as respect, family, life changes, and ambition with a gentle tone of comedy. 

The Soundtrack

"I was born, but..." allowed Caspervek to get into Japanese music and build a score that combines classical elements of traditional Japanese folklore with other elements from Western music and the usual style of the band. Thus, the pentatonic scales also embrace jazz music, minimalism and the language of film music from the 1950s.


Episode

Details

  • Director

    Yasujiro Ozu

  • Writer

    Yasujiro Ozu

  • Runtime

    100 min

  • Year

    1932

  • Country

    Japan

  • Company

    Shochiku

  • Genre

    Comedy. Drama


Cast

Tatsuo Saito

Tomo Aoki

Mitsuko Yoshikawa

Hideo Sugawara


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