A moving tale of patience, heartbreak, and endurance, this 1960 Japanese drama takes place mostly on a tiny island in the Seto Inland Sea, where a married couple and their two small boys eke out a modest living as farmers. Because there's no fresh water, the couple must row to a neighboring island and haul water back in big buckets, delicately negotiating the rocky terrain as they climb up the steep slope to their crops and home. Writer-director Kaneto Shindo (Onibaba) tells this small story with virtually no dialogue, but the family's struggle for existence is so painstaking that words seem superfluous. The island and coastal scenery are rendered in gorgeous black-and-white widescreen frames that ennoble the family's simple fortitude, and when tragedy strikes, that fortitude turns out to be their salvation. In Japanese with subtitles.
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