Yoshida’s first big-budget production and colour film is a haunting tale of unrequited love and postwar disillusion. The story of the fatal attraction between a spineless intellectual and a strong woman is conventional, but its enactment is radically new.
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Pivotal companion piece to Naruse's 'Midareru,' Yoshida’s incidental symphony likewise discloses the stupor from slumber of the changeover from prewar (Shinko) to postwar (Kawamoto) Japan. No amount of consequential melodrama will resurrect the past, embroidered with renouncement and wasted opportunity, yet utterly responsible for breathing life to a precarious future.
Yoshida's first masterpiece was also his first film to team with the great Mariko Okada. Although the backdrop of the Akitsu inn is stunningly beautiful, the passage of time becomes ever so cruel and devastating as the story progresses. Through eyes of the two lovers trapped in time, Yoshida uncovers Japan's post-war trauma and guilt that were hidden in the collective consciousness.