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Kb (Kaabee) (Kabei: Our Mother) (2008)



Average Rating: 6.5/10
Critic Reviews: 7
Fresh: 5 | Rotten: 2

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 741

My Rating

Movie Info

Veteran Japanese filmmaker Yoji Yamada's 80th feature film concerns a mother living in 1940s-era Tokyo who is forced to care for her two daughters alone after her husband is jailed for expressing reformist views on the Japanese invasion of China. Professor Shigeru Nogami (Mitsugoro Bando) is an outspoken man with some particularly unpopular political views, and for his role in speaking out against the Japanese invasion of China he is promptly jailed. In the wake of his imprisonment, Professor


Art House & International, Drama

Sep 8, 2009

Strand Releasing - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (15) | Top Critics (7) | Fresh (13) | Rotten (2)

Partly because they're relatively rare, homefront movies usually offer a fresh perspective on the tragedies of World War II. That's the case once more with Kabei: Our Mother, a sad and stirring drama from the other side of the Pacific.

July 10, 2009 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
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For those who prefer movies of substance, there are alternatives -- and I don't mean Terminator Salvation.

May 22, 2009 Full Review Source: New York Post | Comment (1)
New York Post
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Enriched by Mutsuo Naganuma's velvety photography, the director's restrained emotional grammar is surprisingly affecting.

May 22, 2009 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
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The film's comparisons of one woman's suffering to one nation's social descent aren't well drawn enough to escape its own melodramatic pitfalls.

May 20, 2009 Full Review Source: Time Out New York | Comment (1)
Time Out New York
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Old workhorse Yamada delivers the solar plexus emotional hit of a tragic telegram with precision that shows a lifetime's practice, turning Hallmarkisms sublime.

May 19, 2009 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
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Hits all the right spots to make you cry like chopping onions.

February 14, 2008
Hollywood Reporter
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Painful though it may be, Kb is finely crafted and totally enjoyable. Watch

September 8, 2009 Full Review Source:

Yoji Yamada's historical drama about a Japanese family's travails during wartime imperial rule teeters on the edge of melodrama, but thankfully hews to a stable and surprisingly poignant path.

June 19, 2009 Full Review Source: Oregonian

[An] unpretentious, engrossing, well-nuanced and tender drama brimming with a raw and powerfully moving performance by Sayuri Yoshinaga.

May 24, 2009 Full Review Source: NYC Movie Guru
NYC Movie Guru

Yamada and crew almost go so far as to suggest that the Japanese had their A-bombs coming to them, if it weren't for the achingly sympathetic family at the film's core.

May 21, 2009 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

Deeply powerful study of a family trying to survive repression and poverty in wartime Japan with much in common--unexpectedly--with the director's Samurai trilogy.

May 21, 2009 Full Review Source:

This is not a story about lamenting the inevitability of time but rather of living in denial.

May 20, 2009 Full Review Source: New York Press
New York Press

Yamada's masterpiece of balanced sensibilities is grounded in the sensitive performances of its cast.

May 17, 2009 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

Delicately observed.

May 13, 2009 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

Audience Reviews for Kb (Kaabee) (Kabei: Our Mother)

Yoji Yamada is one of today's most brilliant directors. I have really enjoyed his period pieces, which have brought back fun memories of classic Samurai movies. Yamada has a subtle and quiet voice which he usually uses well. Kabei: Our Mother seemed like it came from a different director altogether. Set out like a series of memoirs, the film relied heavily on an intrusive narration and episodic structure. I never felt at ease, or intrigued, by the films pace. There were segments I enjoyed, most involving Asano, who kept his emotions in the open without making them obvious. The end was also very melodramatic, with screaming and crying forcing their way in. It was all very 'bitty', but each individual 'bit' had something to enjoy.
March 7, 2010

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  • Kaabee: Our Mother (DE)
  • Kabei: Our Mother (UK)
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