Late Spring
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Late Spring (Banshun) (1949) dir. Yasujirō Ozu

Noriko is 27 and unmarried.  She doesn't want to find a husband.  She wants to stay home and take care of her father.  But she needs to grow up.

In the original script, Noriko is married off by her family.  But Late Spring was made during the American occupation of Japan, and the censors were scrubbing away the parts of Japanese culture they didn't like.  This meant far-right militancy, ancestor worship, and arraigned marriages.

So, the plot was changed, and Noriko's father tricks Noriko into thinking he would be married, meaning he'd no longer need her help.  So, she is free to fall in love with a man and marry him by choice; the Hollywood model.

Late Spring helps the occupied artists discover and transmit what parts of their culture the Japanese can keep, and which parts they must abandon.  Noriko and her father don't seem especially happy about her marriage, (at least at first) but they go along with the new ideas.  Other old traditions, such as the Noh theater performance, are given a great deal of attention and respect.

Late Spring (Banshun) is #207 on the 2012 edition of the TSPDT 1,000 list I’m blogging through.  I’ve now seen 432.