Kenkichi Hara – Kotobuki-za (1945)
First released on 28 June 1945.
The war was about to end in two months. Every major city in Japan would have been burnt to the ground.
At such a time, or perhaps precisely at such a time, a romantic melodrama was produced.
What people want, what filmmakers want to make, what the Shochiku production team, wanted to make, in every era and at every time, is a romantic melodrama!
The man whom Mieko Takamine married had a mountainous temperament, failed at every attempt, ran away from home with debts, and is now living somewhere with a local woman. Perhaps this film was made by Shochiku at the request of the government and the military for the benefit of the people and soldiers who were starved of entertainment.
Well, even if that were the case.
The beautiful men and women in kimono, Kokichi Takada and Mieko Takamine, make this film irreplaceable. In retrospect, it is truly great that they produced a film at that time, at the end of the war, with no military colours, not a single soldier in military uniform, and with romance at its centre.
The fact that the film is set in ‘Hokkaido’ (Kushiro) rather than in Honshu may have allowed both the producers and the audience to ‘dream’. Perhaps they were able to depict the illusion of the northern country.
298MB | 1h 05m | 320×240 | mkv