Kamei Fumio Retrospective [Feature Films]

Become a Mother, Become a Woman

(“Haha nareba onna nareba”)
- 1952 / B&W / 16mm (orig. 35mm) / 100 min

Director: Kamei Fumio
Script: Tanada Goro
Based on the novel by Tokunaga Sunao
Photography: Segawa Junichi
Editing: Kono Akikazu
Sound: Maruyama Kunie
Music: Iida Nobuo
Art Director: Hirakawa Totetsu
Producers: Terada Shogyo, Kashikura Masami
Cast: Yamada Isuzu, Kanda Takashi, Kishi Hatae, Futakuchi Shinichi
Production Company: Kinuta Productions
Source: Dokuritsupuro Meiga Hozonkai

Kinuta Productions was launched with 2 million yen of the 6 million yen received as the settlement of the fourth labor dispute with Toho. This, Kinuta’s first film, was produced under less than ideal circumstances. A young widow who has lost a husband in war become separated from her eldest son during an air raid and then searches for her missing son. A brother and a sister from next door encourage her to work with a sewing machine. One day a burglar breaks into the brother and sister’s home and is caught by police, but he is, in fact, the widow’s son. The widow takes him home and begins family life anew. But while the brother was encouraging the widow, they become intimate and the brother proposes to her. Rumors about them circulate and again the son goes astray. The widow suffers between love for her son and marriage to her boyfriend, but once again chooses to retrieve her son and to begin life with him once again. This film does not have an especially strong reputation, but great actress Yamada Isuzu, star of Mizoguchi’s Sisters of Gion (“Gion no kyodai,” 1936) and Osaka Elegy (“Naniwa erejii,” 1936) among others, does a wonderful job in her troubled role.

• Kamei Fumio Retrospective [Pre-War Works] Hiking Song | Shape without Shape | An Introduction to Radio: The Audience | School Broadcasting | The Geology of Fuji | Airspace [Pre-War Documentary Films] Shanghai | Peking | Fighting Soldiers | Kobayashi Issa [Post-War Documentary Films] A Japanese Tragedy | Children of the Base | The People of Sunagawa | Wheat Will Never Fall | Still It’s Good to Live | Record of Blood: Sunagawa | The World Is Terrified: The Reality of the “Ash of Death” | Living in a Rough Sea | Fluttering Pigeons | Voice of Hiroshima | Men Are All Brothers | Towards a World without Arms | All Must Live: People, Insects and Birds | All Living Things Are Friends—Lullabies of Birds, Insects and Fish [Feature Films] War and Peace | A Woman’s Life | Become a Mother, Become a Woman | Woman Walking Alone on the Earth [PR and Educational Films] Poem of Life | Invitation to Japanese Architecture | Penmanship | Quiet Construction Methods | Living with Ideas: A Profile of Sharp | Let’s Weave a Rainbow | Hong Kong, Taipei | Norihei Travel Manners | The Southern Cross Is Calling | Wishing for Tomorrow’s Happiness [Other Works] Underwear Makes the Woman | The Models and the Photographer | Kamei on Kamei: A Record of Yesterday’s Film Production Discussion Group | Human Conceit: The World of Director Kamei Fumio