Following World War II, a retired professor approaching his autumn years finds his quality of life drastically reduced in war-torn Tokyo. Denying despair, he pursues writing and celebrates his birthday with his adoring students.
This film tells the story of professor Uehida Hyakken-sama (1889-1971), in Gotemba, around the forties. He was a university professor until an air raid, when he left to become a writer and has to live in a hut. His mood has hardly changed, not by the change nor by time. Every year his students celebrate his birthday, issuing the question "Mahda kai?" (not yet?), just to hear Uehida-san's answer "Madada yo!" (No, not yet!), in a ritual of self affirmation, and desires of lasting forever. It's a very "japanese" film who portrays everyday life and customs in Japan.Written by
Jaime Moraga <firstname.lastname@example.org>
An easy-watchable Kurosawa about real japanese culture and characters
I've watched this movie more often then any other Kurosawa movie. I think most of his movies I've watched only once were movies whose impact on me will last a lifetime, thats why I don't need to watch 'Stray Dog' or 'Red Beard' too often, though they are my favorite. But this one is a movie I can watch on the evening, an easy-watchable and yet very touching and intensive movie, with moments to laugh and touching moments too. I realy like this movie for its sympathic characters - though it plays partly in fascism war-torn Japan. Maybe its the point of why I like these character especially - it shows that despite their fascistic affiliation the characters didn't have to be evil - or at least not all.
It has also a few good jokes which you can only understand when you understand japanese - the main character is a distinguished author and german-teacher. He delivers a brilliant character-study.
Recommendable for everybody interested in japanese culture, especially postwar - and all Kurosawa-fans of course.
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