For many centuries the Buraku were treated as subhuman by other Japanese, forced to live apart and relegated to tasks such as cleaning corpses. Director Kon Ichikawa based this 1962 feature on Toson Shimazaki's influential 1906 novel about a schoolteacher who conceals his Buraku heritage, silently enduring his colleagues' racist comments. (In one powerful scene, echoing Shylock's lament in The Merchant of Venice, the teacher cuts himself and asks, “Isn't this human blood?”) When a crisis forces him to reveal his secret to his fourth-grade students, his apology reduces them to tears; despite Ichikawa's stark black-and-white 'Scope compositions, the film is in part a tearjerker, though for a worthy cause. In Japanese with subtitles. 119 min.