This is a gentle, affectionate take on a middle aged bar hostess, struggling to bring up a child alone and facing financial, sexual and end of career issues, as well as the implied disapproval of society. There is plenty of humour, though, and acute observation of people and relationships in their everyday lives. Apparently slow initially, one gets gradually drawn in to care for these essentially good characters, even the weak and slightly unreliable ones (generally men). The set pieces of bar life are particularly well observed. And the mutual respect and simple good manners of Japanese society as depicted is always fascinating to Western eyes. As ever with Naruse, the camera-work is so effective one is hardly conscious of it as one engages with this picture of a determined but dignified struggle by a virtuous woman.
A few days in the life of a quiet geisha, single mother of a young, smart boy, in the lively Tokyo quarter of Ginza. A woman devoted to other people's needs, she will end by taking part ...
November 27, 2020