There’s no place like home: even with four children, the Uemura family is able to live a modest but happy life in their cramped, rented flat. The parents support the two elder daughters’ artistic ambitions to the best of their ability, using all the means at their disposal to make it possible for Tomoko to paint and Nobuko to sing in a choir. There is much rejoicing when the father is honoured for 25 years of service at his company and awarded a cash prize to boot. Yet the family must make the painful discovery that joy and sorrow are often not far apart: not only does recognition as a painter continue to elude Tomoko, the Uemuras also learn that they will have to leave their home. One of Tomoko’s paintings finally restores their lost happiness.
Nakamura takes an empathetic look at the everyday life of this common or garden family, taking in its many worries as well as its small moments of humour and joy. The bonds between parents and children are close – even as the parents are full of melancholy as they look back on their bygone youth, they do everything they can to help their children dream.
Japan 1951, 91 min
© Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin