Berlinale: Programme

Film file


Sono yo no tsuma

That Night's Wife

Die Frau jener Nacht

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To pay for medical care for his daughter, a young father robs a bank. But a bank worker sounds the alarm and the bank is surrounded by police. Hashizume manages to escape at the last minute after being chased through brightly-lit evening streets. He then hails a taxi to get home, but doesn’t realize that a high-ranking police investigator is at the wheel. Shortly thereafter, the officer rings the doorbell at Hashizume’s apartment and his wife opens the door. During the night that follows, the young father will fight not only for the life of his child, but also for his own salvation … What begins as a gangster film becomes an intimate piece of theater in the dark of night. Yasujiro Ozu continues the traditions of the Weimar era ‘street films’ and ‘absolute film,’ while alluding to the financial crisis, as well as Japan’s entry into the modern, electric age. Although he was previously known as a mostly ‘broad daylight director,’ here he depicts societal breakdown as a high-contrast play of light. Thus the gleaming white gloves worn by the law enforcement officer find their counterpart in the black fingerprints left by the culprit on a bright pane of glass.

Japan 1930, 65 min


Yasujiro Ozu


Tokihiko Okada
Emiko Yakumo
Mitsuko Ichimura
Chishu Ryu