Tsuchi (1939)

Genres - Drama  |   Run Time - 92 min.  |   Countries - Japan  |  
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Filmed in secret, this is Tomu Uchida's best-known film. Uchida spent a year in rural Japan filming this realistic portrait of Japan's peasantry just before the Second World War. While filmed with professional actors, the picture was filmed in real time. Shot over the course of a year, the actual film covers a year in the life of the peasant Kanji. Because of this, the film has a very documentary feel, being primarily composed of the daily lives of farmers in Kanji's village. The plot of Earth is very minimal. For unexplained reasons, Kanji runs upon hard times. Over the course of the year, his family scraps by as Kanji tries, unsuccessfully, to provide for his family. His failure to do this drives him into a dark depression which only worsens as the year wears on. Eventually, the pleasures of family and the simplicity of their lives restores his ability to live.