Muddy River

Muddy River

泥の河 (Doro no Kawa)
Friday, March 21, 2014

Image: Muddy River © 1981 Kimura Production/Kohei Oguri.

Donald Richie on Muddy River:
"Whether this unsentimental, black-and-white movie about the friendship of two little boys in post-World War II Japan is a harbinger of a renaissance of the once-eminent Japanese film remains to be seen. But without doubt, the success of Muddy River, financed by the film-struck president of an iron-working plant and at first unable to find a distributor, serves to expose the prolonged decline of an industry whose achievements once stirred international praise." (Excerpted from an article by Richie in The New York Times.)

Kohei Oguri (1945- ) affectionately portrays the friendship of children facing the harsh reality of social discrimination. The protagonist, a nine-year-old boy, grows up in a warm and loving working-class family. He befriends a boy and his sister living on a houseboat where their mother works as a prostitute. Takako Shigemori's screenplay is based on Teru Miyamoto's novel and the details of the children's everyday lives are superbly captured by Shohei Ando's cinematography.

1981, 105 min., 35mm, b&w, in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Kohei Oguri. With Takahiro Tamura, Yumiko Fujita, Mariko Kaga.

Part of Richie's Electric Eight: A Tribute to Donald Richie (1924-2013), Part 2


$12/$9 Japan Society members, seniors and students

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