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The Brothers and Sisters of the Toda Family
(Toda-ke no Kyodai)

Screening on Film
Directed by Yasujiro Ozu.
With Mieko Takamine, Shin Saburi, Hideo Fujino.
Japan, 1941, 35mm, black & white, 105 min.
Japanese with English subtitles.

The decline of a once-important family is the subject of many great films, from The Magnificent Ambersons to Written on the Wind, and this is Ozu’s powerful assay of the theme. Foreshadowing Tokyo Story and its motif of filial callousness and The End of Summer in its portrait of a disintegrating household, The Brothers and Sisters of the Toda Family presents a daring critique of the social mores of the rich. The tale is set in motion when the patriarch of the Toda clan suddenly dies, forcing his children to sell the family villa and take care of their widowed mother. She soon finds herself shunted from household to household, carrying her bird and plants throughout her odyssey even as her children pay cruel, eloquent lip service to the tradition of familial duty. This was Ozu’s first collaboration with cinematographer Yuharu Atsuta, who shot nearly all his films for the next two decades.

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Yasujiro Ozu.
A Centennial Celebration

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