Introduction from Lili Hinstin on March 18

Released a year and a half after the end of the American Occupation, Tanaka’s first film as director follows a repatriated veteran (Masayuki Mori) who helps Japanese women write love letters to American GIs, meanwhile wandering the streets of bustling postwar Tokyo in search of his childhood love (Yoshiko Kuga). Based on a novel by renowned writer Fumio Niwa, with a script from filmmaker Keisuke Kinoshita and popular stars Mori and Kuga in the leading roles, Tanaka’s male-centric melodrama was well-received by critics and audiences alike upon its theatrical release and in the 1954 Cannes Film Festival. While the returned soldier and the panpan (an independent prostitute working the streets) were two well-represented archetypes in Japanese cinema at the time, critics were nonetheless surprised that Tanaka chose for her first film such a controversial subject, rather than a more traditional domestic melodrama about women. Restored in 4K by TOHO CO., LTD. A Janus Films release.