#118: Floating Clouds

5evkaj4m71svrs9ocqyhtraqtah#118 – Floating Clouds, (浮雲), 1955, Mikio Naruse
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A married Japanese forester during WWII is sent to Indochina to manage forests. He meets a young Japanese typist and promises to leave his wife. He doesn’t and after the war, she turns up and the affair resumes.

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#124: Humanity and Paper Balloons

uwbzvebb6bizrykpprgyofldtkn#124 – Humanity and Paper Balloons, (人情紙風船), 1937, Sadao Yamanaka
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The story develops in the Tokugawa era of the 18th century, in a poor district of Tokyo, where impoverished samurai live from hand to mouth among equally poor people of lower social classes. One such ronin (masterless samurai) Matajuro, spends his day looking for work whilst his wife, Otaki, makes cheap paper balloons at home. One rainy night, Shinza, a barber, and equally penniless, impulsively abducts the daughter of a wealthy merchant, hiding her at Matajuros home. Their desperate plan has grave consequences when a ransom attempt backfires. The film, which starts and ends with suicide, is deeply pessimistic, insisting that life in feudal Japan was hellish and short for those at the foot of the social ladder.

#140: Shoplifters

4nfruov3lx5zln98ws1wqvbk9e9#140 – Shoplifters, (万引き家族), 2018, Hirokazu Kore-eda
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After one of their shoplifting sessions, Osamu and his son come across a little girl in the freezing cold. At first reluctant to shelter the girl, Osamu’s wife agrees to take care of her after learning of the hardships she faces. Although the family is poor, barely making enough money to survive through petty crime, they seem to live happily together until an unforeseen incident reveals hidden secrets, testing the bonds that unite them.

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#164: Princess Mononoke

cdcly72b6l5y3obgwajoxsjgsgr#164 – Princess Mononoke, (もののけ姫), 1997, Hayao Miyazaki
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Ashitaka, a prince of the disappearing Emishi people, is cursed by a demonized boar god and must journey to the west to find a cure. Along the way, he encounters San, a young human woman fighting to protect the forest, and Lady Eboshi, who is trying to destroy it. Ashitaka must find a way to bring balance to this conflict.

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