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The Flavor of Green Tea Over Rice
Directed by Yasujiro Ozu • 1952 • Japan
Starring Shin Saburi, Michiyo Kogure, Keiko Tsushima
One of the ineffably lovely domestic sagas made by Yasujiro Ozu at the height of his mastery, THE FLAVOR OF GREEN TEA OVER RICE is a sublimely piercing portrait of a marriage coming quietly undone. Secrets and deceptions strain the already tenuous relationship of a childless, middle-aged couple, as the wife’s city-bred sophistication bumps up against the husband’s small-town simplicity, and a generational sea change—in the form of her headstrong, modern niece—sweeps over their household. The director’s abiding concern with family dynamics receives one of its most spirited treatments, with a wry, tender humor and buoyant expansiveness that moves the action from the home into the baseball stadiums, pachinko parlors, and ramen shops of postwar Tokyo.