The Most Beautiful (1944)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Melodrama, Propaganda Film  |   Run Time - 85 min.  |   Countries - Japan  |  
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Following up on his successful directorial debut, soon-to-be cinematic master Akira Kurosawa helms this war-era melodrama about female factory workers dutifully toiling for the greater good of the Imperial war effort. Under the watchful eye of their paternalistic factory manager (played by Kurosawa regular Takeshi Shimura), the young women workers fight through their own trials and tribulations to produce high-quality optical equipment factory under extremely spartan, almost militaristic conditions. One lass (Takako Irie) gets ill and is forced to convalesce over her own objections. Another insists on continuing with her work after falling and breaking her leg. Still another is desperately trying to hide her tuberculosis so she can stay on the assembly line. The shift leader (Yoko Yaguchi), whose mother is dying at home with no one to care for her, struggles to set a good example for her underlings and struggles to find a mislaid half-finished lens.

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Keywords

employer/employee, factory-worker, foreman, labor-relations, patriotism, weapons