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A Hen in the Wind
Directed by Yasujiro Ozu • 1948 • Japan
Starring Kinuyo Yanaka, Shuji Sano, Chieko Murata
Perhaps Yasujiro Ozu’s darkest film, this devastating account of Japan’s wartime realities follows the struggles of Tokiko (Kinuyo Tanaka), a mother who is forced to turn to sex work in order to pay off her ill son’s medical bills. When her husband (Shuji Sano) returns home from the war, her suffering is compounded by his refusal to forgive her actions. Anchored by a searing performance from the great Tanaka, A HEN IN THE WIND balances emotionally charged melodrama with Ozu’s characteristic subtlety.