Starring Setsuko Hara

Starring Setsuko Hara

12 Episodes

No actress represents the golden age of Japanese cinema more fully than Setsuko Hara, whose radiant, compassionate presence made her nothing less than the living symbol of the changing role of women in Japanese society. Beginning her career at age fifteen, she appeared in more than one hundred films, including works by Akira Kurosawa (NO REGRETS FOR OUR YOUTH, THE IDIOT) and Mikio Naruse (REPAST, SOUND OF THE MOUNTAIN). But it is her six collaborations with Yasujiro Ozu—including the masterpieces LATE SPRING and TOKYO STORY—for which she will always be best remembered. Portraying selfless women navigating the tensions between family, tradition, and generational sea change, she illuminated the screen with performances of unparalleled subtlety and grace.

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Starring Setsuko Hara
  • Starring Setsuko Hara Teaser

    Episode 1

  • No Regrets for Our Youth

    Episode 2

    Directed by Akira Kurosawa • 1946 • Japan

    In Akira Kurosawa's first film after the end of World War II, future beloved Ozu regular Setsuko Hara gives an astonishing performance as Yukie, the only female protagonist in Kurosawa's body of work and one of his strongest heroes. Transforming hersel...

  • Here’s to the Young Lady

    Episode 3

    Directed by Keisuke Kinoshita • 1949 • Japan
    Starring Setsuko Hara, Shuji Sano, Sugisaku Aoyama

    Director Keisuke Kinoshita delicately balances humor and melodrama in this gentle romantic comedy. Class tensions threaten to derail a budding romance when a young woman (the luminous Setsuko Hara) fr...

  • Late Spring

    Episode 4

    Directed by Yasujiro Ozu • 1949 • Japan
    Starring Chishu Ryu, Setsuko Hara, Yumeji Tsukioka

    One of the most powerful of Yasujiro Ozu’s family portraits, LATE SPRING (BANSHUN) tells the story of a widowed father who feels compelled to marry off his beloved only daughter. Eminent Ozu players Chishu...

  • Early Summer

    Episode 5

    Directed by Yasujiro Ozu • 1951 • Japan
    Starring Setsuko Hara, Chishu Ryu, Chikage Awashima

    The Mamiya family is seeking a husband for their daughter, Noriko, but she has ideas of her own. Played by the extraordinary Setsuko Hara, Noriko impulsively chooses her childhood friend, at once fulfilli...

  • The Idiot

    Episode 6

    Directed by Akira Kurosawa • 1951 • Japan

    In post-World War II Japan, childlike veteran Kinji suffers from post-traumatic stress-induced seizures, and, after treatment at a mental health institution in Okinawa, he returns to his hometown. There he meets and becomes romantically caught up with tw...

  • Repast

    Episode 7

    Directed by Mikio Naruse • 1951 • Japan
    Starring Setsuko Hara, Ken Uehara, Yukiko Shimazaki

    A watershed work in the career of master director Mikio Naruse, REPAST marked the beginning of his extraordinary late-career renaissance. The first of a string of adaptations that Naruse would direct base...

  • Tokyo Story

    Episode 8

    Directed by Yasujiro Ozu • 1953 • Japan
    Starring Chishu Ryu, Chieko Higashiyama, Setsuko Hara

    A profoundly stirring evocation of elemental humanity and universal heartbreak, TOKYO STORY is the crowning achievement of the unparalleled Yasujiro Ozu. The film, which follows an aging couple’s journe...

  • Sound of the Mountain

    Episode 9

    Directed by Mikio Naruse • 1954 • Japan
    Starring Setsuko Hara, Ken Uehara, So Yamamura

    Mikio Naruse’s THE SOUND OF THE MOUNTAIN (YAMA NO OTO) was one of the director’s personal favorites among his own movies. The story concerns a woman, Kukiko (Setsuko Hara), trapped in a loveless marriage to Ot...

  • Tokyo Twilight

    Episode 10

    Directed by Yasujiro Ozu • 1957 • Japan

    One of Ozu's most piercing portraits of family strife, Tokyo Twilight follows the parallel paths of two sisters contending with an absent mother, unwanted pregnancy, and marital discord.

  • Late Autumn

    Episode 11

    Directed by Yasujiro Ozu • 1960 • Japan

    The great actress and Ozu regular Setsuko Hara plays a mother gently trying to persuade her daughter to marry in this glowing portrait of family love and conflict; a reworking of Ozu's 1949 masterpiece Late Spring.

  • The End of Summer

    Episode 12

    Directed by Yasujiro Ozu • 1961 • Japan

    The Kohayakawa family is thrown into distress when childlike father Manbei takes up with his old mistress, in one of Ozu's most deftly modulated blendings of comedy and tragedy.