Humanity and Paper Balloons (Ninjo kami fusen) (1937)

TOMATOMETER

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Humanity and Paper Balloons, unlike most other Japanese films of this period, is a historical film with a critical edge. Refusing to glorify samurai, the film instead deflates the myth around them with a gentle humanity. The film opens directly after a penurious ronin samurai has taken his own life. At his funeral his neighbors from his slum mourn his death. Here the film introduces another ronin samurai who lives in equal poverty. Having pawned his sword for food, the samurai searches for work but to no avail. The family's only income comes from the little balloon children's toys made by the wife. Out of desperation, the samurai abets in an attempted kidnapping. After finding out, the wife kills him in his sleep and then takes her own life, closing the film's narrative circle. ~ Brian Whitener, Rovi
Rating:
NR
Genre:
Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
Runtime:
Studio:
Criterion Collection

Cast

Chojuro Kawarazaki
as Matajuro Unno
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Critic Reviews for Humanity and Paper Balloons (Ninjo kami fusen)

All Critics (1)

A great one about honor among the lower-classes and of keeping up appearances.

Full Review… | November 4, 2013
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Humanity and Paper Balloons (Ninjo kami fusen)

Populated with unforgettable, realistic characters. A moving study of the deterioration of decency and the fallacy of the bushido code, done with great pathos and great humor as it effortlessly works its way towards its somber ending. It's a real shame that Yamanaka died so young, and so much of his work is lost.

Martin Teller
Martin Teller

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