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A Fond Face from the Past

A Fond Face from the Past


34 min

Country: Japan

Director: Mikio Naruse

Actors: Fumio OkuraKinji FujiwaMakoto MatsuzakiMasaru KodakaRanko HanaiSoji WatariSumihiko HaraTaizô FukamiTakashi KodakaTsuruko Mano

Genres: Drama

Subtitle: English

4.25/ 5 2 votes
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Movie plot

A Fond Face from the Past is also set in a rural community, specifically a village outside Kameoka, near Kyoto. In some ways this short, thirty-six-minute film is Naruse’s most moving negotiation of the militarist restrictions of the time, perhaps because it is also his most direct engagement with the culture of war. When a newsreel comes to Kameoka featuring a local man named Yoichi, it causes some excitement in the community and, of course, in Yoichi’s own family. First of all his mother makes the newsreel (Nippon News, no. 14), which begins with the same marching music that opens his own film, followed by a curious baby judging context in Los Angeles featuring two hundred Japanese babies. Released in January 1941, almost a year before the pacific war begins, this “found footage” is indicative of Japanese imperialist ambitions beyond Asia long before Pearl Harbor.

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