A Hen in the Wind
(Kaze no Naka no Mendori)

Screening on Film
Directed by Yasujiro Ozu.
With Kinuyo Tanaka, Shuji Sano, Chishu Ryu.
Japan, 1948, 35mm, black & white, 84 min.
Japanese with English subtitles.

This postwar drama stars Mizoguchi’s favorite actress, Kinuyo Tanaka, as a woman driven to prostitution for survival. Destitute as she awaits her husband’s return from the army, she tries to make a living first as a seamstress and then by selling the few goods she has. But when her son falls ill and she has to pay the hospital bills, a neighbor advises her to start working the street. More complex and ambiguous than many of the other Japanese films made under the American postwar occupation, A Hen in the Wind marks the onset of Ozu’s celebrated late style, which emerges in the film’s strikingly crisp photography and its singular patterns of narration, composition, and editing.

Part of film series

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Yasujiro Ozu.
A Centennial Celebration