Where Chimneys Are Seen 18

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From the archive

This film was last shown on 14 February 2019

Based on Rinzo Shiina’s absurdist novel, Where Chimneys Are Seen focuses on the microcosm of a house in 1950s Tokyo. Ryukichi (Ken Uehara) and Hiroko (Kinuyo Tanaka) are a married couple who, despite having two upstairs lodgers living with them, are desperately poor and go to complicated lengths to avoid unwanted pregnancies.

In a bid to help their situation out, Hiroko secretly takes on a part-time job which aggravates Ryukichi who senses that his wife (who had been married once before but was seemingly widowed in WWII) is hiding something from him. He appears to be vindicated when a child is abandoned on their doorstep by someone who claims to be Hiroko’s first husband…

Widely regarded as the work most representative of director Heinosuke Gosho’s concern for the lives of the lower-middle class, this all-star drama was entered into the 3rd Berlin International Film Festival. Screening from a 35mm print, the film is a rare find that focuses on marriage and family life in Japan in the post-war period of industrialisation.

Director
Heinosuke Gosho
Country
Japan
Year
1953
Duration
1 hour 48 minutes
Language
Japanese
Cast
Hideko Takamine, Ken Uehara, Kinuyo Tanaka

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