Setsuko Hara in Daughters, Wives and a Mother

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Sanae (Hara Setsuko), a recent widow, has returned to the family home with a sizable sum of insurance money – an event that triggers discord in a family already coming apart at the seams. With great performances by an A-list cast, Daughters, Wives, and a Mother contrasts Sanae’s virtuous daughter against her scheming, cash-strapped, and self-centered relatives, highlighting the mismatch between how people ought to be versus how they actually behave as a family. Naruse’s usual grim outlook on modern society is no less tarnished by this film’s resplendent color and Toho scope cinematography; rather, the vibrancy only enhances the loathsome quality in human nature.

Kino Arsenal, Tonight, 8pm.

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