A Hen in the Wind

84 minutes

Yasujiro Ozu's 1948 feature stars Kinuyo Tanaka as a destitute mother, living on the industrial outskirts of Tokyo, who faces a moral quandary when her son becomes seriously ill. Unable to pay the child's medical bills, she turns briefly to prostitution to raise the money, only to be confronted by her long-absent husband when he unexpectedly returns home from the front. A pointed moral indictment of Japan's postwar society, this is also one of Ozu's most emotionally charged movies. The mother's willingness to submit to repeated humiliation for the sake of her family is a bit difficult to stomach at times, but the film has undeniably powerful moments, and the final shot is a beauty. In Japanese with subtitles.

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