There Was a Father


Time Out says

Among Ozu's best-loved films in Japan is this touching saga of filial love set against adverse circumstances and social duty. Although only 38 at the time, Ryu ages gracefully through decades as a widowed mathematics teacher parted initially from his only son when a fatal boating accident on a school trip causes the father to resign his post, leaving the boy to continue his studies. Their paths remain separate when the latter's own teaching career takes him to Akita in the north, even though his father is now a successful company man in Tokyo. Ozu displays a Renoir-like understanding of both sides, as the brief holiday time the two spend together proves precious indeed - look for the symbolic harmony in the fly fishing scenes. The issue of separation acquired a particular poignancy in wartime, it goes without saying, but Ryu's stoic underplaying offers a heartbreaking performance for the ages.


Release details

94 mins

Cast and crew

Yasujiro Ozu
Tadao Ikeda, Takao Yanai, Yasujiro Ozu
Chishu Ryu
Shuji Sano
Mitsuko Mito
Takeshi Sakamoto
Shin Saburi
Haruhiko Tsuda
Masayoshi Otsuka
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