Please note that this screening will take place at Japan Society.
Bearing a title inspired by John Keats’ epitaph and taken from the Yōjirō Ishizaka novel it adapts, Yoshida’s first independent film is a startling affair, depicting the unbreakable love of mother and child. On the eve of his marriage, young Shizuo finds himself torn between his fiancée and the single mother who raised him. Having led a sacrificial life, laying aside personal happiness for her beloved son, Shizuo’s radiant mother (Mariko Okada) suffers silently, as the entanglement of unspoken dreams and desires floods in. Led by its striking visual language that frames Okada’s otherworldly beauty in veiled compositions, Yoshida’s abstracted josei eiga speaks to the pains of womanhood and the relinquishment of umbilical bonds—an exploration of the forgotten lives of women lived under the phantom of Japan’s imperial patriarchy. Print courtesy of the National Film Archive of Japan.