Harukanaru Yama No Yobigoe (1980)

Run Time - 124 min.  |   Countries - Japan  |  
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Most viewers will recognize the tear-jerking techniques used in this transparent, sometimes understated melodrama, but they may succumb anyway. Director Yoji Yamada is masterful at wringing poignancy and pathos out of this transparent script and he has a good team of actors. Kosaku (Ken Takakura) shows up looking for work one day at a remote farmhouse run by a mother (Chieko Baisho) and her son (Hidetaka Yoshioka). The two live alone and need help so they accept his offer, even though it is obvious he is on the run from someone or something in his past. As time goes by the little boy becomes close to Kosaku, and his mother generously insists that the adopted farmhand eat with them at the table. As the warmth of their relationship grows, it is clear that Kosaku's past is going to catch up with him when least expected.