I Was Born, But... (1932)

Director: Yasujiro Ozu

Writers: scenario by Akira Fushimi, adapted by Geibei Ibushiya from an idea by Yasujiro Ozu

Stars: Tomio Aoki, Hideo Sugawara, Tatsuo Saito, Takeshi Sakamoto, Mitsuko Yoshikawa, Teruyo Hayami, Seiichi Kato, Shoichi Kofujita

Two brothers (Tomio Aoki and Hideo Sugawara) learn something about the pecking order of society as they deal with bullies in their new neighborhood and observe how their father (Tatsuo Saito) interacts with his boss (Takeshi Sakamoto). 

Director Yasujiro Ozu excels at quiet, closely observed dramas that illuminate key truths about his characters’ lives.


Here, the brothers struggle for respect from the neighborhood boys, but a friendly evening of home movies at the boss’s house seems to reveal that their own father receives little respect among the adults.


Just what this really means and how the family copes with it provides the payoff for this quiet little drama. Lots of humor and deft characterization keep things interesting, since Ozu is not one for big histrionics.


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