A Mother’s Love

May 17, 2024
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Introduced by Jo Osawa, Curator / Head of Film Collections at the National Film Archive of Japan.

Imported 35mm Print. Toshiko, a poor Tokyo mother hoping to remarry, takes her three children, each from different fathers—a little girl born après guerre (as her uncle puts it), middle child Kaneo and the eldest, Fusao—on a countryside excursion. Hoping to offload them onto relatives, Toshiko briskly separates her children as if they were not even her own, but she can’t seem to rid herself of bedwetting crybaby Fusao. Starring Nijiko Kiyokawa as the seemingly heartless mother, Shimizu’s approach to the popular postwar hahamono (mother film) is still replete with his signature lyricism, shot against the backdrop of the Izu Peninsula (a contemporaneous critic would, rather humorously, dismiss it as Shimizu’s “eighteenth Izu sketchbook”). An emotional journey leading to a reawakening of maternal instincts, Manohla Dargis would marvel at the film’s “ability to inject a mundane gesture with breathtaking possibility.”

Print courtesy of the National Film Archive of Japan.

Dir. Hiroshi Shimizu, 1950, 83 min., 35mm, b&w, in Japanese with live English subtitles. With Nijiko Kiyokawa, Yataro Kurokawa, Musei Tokugawa.

Part of the John and Miyoko Davey Classic Film Series
Hiroshi Shimizu – Part II: The Postwar and Independent Years
May 16—June 1, 2024

© Kokusai Hoei.

Hiroshi Shimizu is co-presented with Museum of the Moving Image, the National Film Archive of Japan, and Japan Foundation, New York.

Hiroshi Shimizu – Part II: The Independent and Postwar Years is generously supported by The John and Miyoko Davey Endowment Fund for Classic Japanese Film.

Japan Society programs are made possible by leadership support from Booth Ferris Foundation, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature. Film programs are generously supported by ORIX Corporation USA, public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and Yen Press. Endowment support is provided by the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Endowment Fund and The John and Miyoko Davey Endowment Fund. Additional season support is provided by The Globus Family and Friends of Film. Transportation assistance is provided by Japan Airlines, the official Japanese airline sponsor of Japan Society Film. Housing assistance is provided by the Kitano Hotel, the official hotel sponsor of Japan Society Film.

  • Friday, May 17, 2024
  • 9:00 pm
  • In-Person Event
  • Reserved Tickets
  • $16 Nonmembers
  • $12 Members
  • $14 Seniors/Students
  • $14 Person with Disability

There is an additional $1.50 service charge for all non-member ticket types purchased.