Kinoshita’s “The Snow Flurry” (1959)

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 Kinshota’s 1959 “Snow Flurry” (Kazabana) is pain-filled if not pain-giving. Only running 78 minutes, it repeats quite a number of lines that add meaning in repetition. I again am put off by the music, this time rueful western music, but the scenery near Nagoya is impressive, and it is well acted by Kishi Keiku as Haruko, the survivor of a love suicide who survives to give birth to and raise Suteo (Kawazu Yûsuke [Eternal Rainbow, Cruel Story of Youth] as an 18-19-year old). Other than his mother, the only person in a very stiff old-fashioned family is his (now 25-year-old) cousin Sakura (Kuga Yoshiko). This impossible love, even more forbidden than the family rejection of Haruko, lends an aura of foreboding throughout the movie.

The family’s face demands that the mother of the only male offspring be taken in, sheltered and fed, but she and her son are ill-treated servants. It’s sort of like Cinderella with a child and a Cinderella blamed for the death of the prince.

 

©2016, Stephen O. Murray

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