alr

The Munekata Sisters
(Munekata Shimai)

Screening on Film
Directed by Yasujiro Ozu.
With Kinuyo Tanaka, Hideko Takamine, Ken Uehara.
Japan, 1950, 35mm, black & white, 116 min.
Japanese with English subtitles.

Two of Japan’s greatest actresses and several leading actors were assembled for this stunning “prestige production,” which Ozu was commissioned to direct. The Munekata sisters—Setsuko (played by Mizoguchi veteran Kinuyo Tanaka) and Mariko (Naruse star Hideko Takamine)—reveal the two poles of postwar Japanese society. Feisty and modern Mariko dresses in western attire and represents the liberated woman, while the placid and traditional Setsuko dresses in kimonos. To emphasize the tensions between modernity and tradition, between the old Japan and the new, Ozu employs a series of picturesque settings such as the Moss Temple in Kyoto, a mountain villa in Hakone, and the Yakushiji Temple near Nara. Though more linear and elaborately mounted than any other Ozu film, The Munekata Sisters is typically rigorous and exquisitely composed. In the end Ozu manages to wrest profound emotion from convention.

Part of film series

Read more

Yasujiro Ozu.
A Centennial Celebration

Current and upcoming film series

Read more

Música de Câmara. The Cinema of Rita Azevedo Gomes

Read more

From the Harvard Film Archive Collection …

Read more

People and their Virtue. Two Films by Wang Bing

Read more

Trenque Lauquen by Laura Citarella

Read more

I Heard It Through the Grapevine with James Baldwin

Read more

Filmmaker, Guest Worker: Zelimir Zilnik’s Expatriates

Read more

Adachi Masao’s Revolution+1

Read more

Out of the Ashes – The US-ROK Security Alliance & the Emergence of South Korean Cinema

Read more

Songs of Love and Loss. Elvira Notari’s Cinematic Realism