“Yearning” Final film in “Japanese Films of the 1960s” November 15th

11 Nov

Yearning (Midareru) 乱れる
B&W / 1964 / 100min
Director: Naruse Mikio

Please join us for the final film in the Japan Foundation’s  film series “Japanese Films of the 1960s”  November 15 at 7pm in the Meacham Auditorium in the OU Student Union.  The film is in Japanese with English subtitles. Admission is free.

Widowed during the war after only six months of marriage, Reiko almost single-handedly rebuilds her husband’s family’s liquor store after it was bombed.  Eighteen years later, however, it and the other small shops are losing business to a new supermarket down the street.  To make matters worse, Reiko must both fend off of her sisters-in-law who want to get rid of her by marrying her off and also handle her rambunctious younger brother-in-law, Koji.

A college graduate, Koji soon quits his job and now spends his time gambling, drinking, and getting into fights. Still, he has deep respect for Reiko, so when he suggests to the family they use their land to build their own supermarket, he insists Reiko be made one of the directors. His sister Hisako’s husband objects, however, so the plan goes nowhere.

When Reiko finds out about an affair Koji has been having with a less than exemplary woman, she confronts him about it. To her shock, Koji responds by saying that the only woman he really loves is Reiko. Worried about what others would think, Reiko rejects Koji, who is 12 years her junior. As if to prove himself to her, Koji begins working diligently at the shop. Reiko, however, finds the situation stifling, so she suddenly declares to the family that she is leaving for home, lying that she has a lover there. Disbelieving her story, Koji accompanies her on the trip home against her will. Touched by his sincerity, Reiko admits she is happy he loves her, but when Koji tries to kiss her in their room at an inn, she violently pushes him away. Koji storms out and gets roaring drunk. Reiko rises in the morning and is set to leave when she hears a commotion in the street: someone had fallen off a cliff during the night. Rushing outside, Reiko is stunned by the sight of Koji’s body being carried away on a stretcher.

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