Aroview: An elegiac triumph of nostalgia for youth and wartime humanism, this cherished landmark of Japanese cinema gracefully chronicles the 20-years of strife and enduring hope following the arrival of a kind-hearted teacher (Takamine) on a remote island to teach a class of twelve young children, not long before the onset of WWII.
Skirting between tonal sentimentality and the bleakness of Japan’s transitional pre/post-war history, dir. Kinoshita elicits a resonate anti-war message and a call for passivity, heartbreakingly rendered through the eyes of the film’s twelve affected children (seen evolving seamlessly from infancy to adulthood). At the unwavering core of it all is the headstrong maternalism of Takamine’s sensei; her lasting impression one of the great odes to the selfless nobility of teaching. No less than a ‘three-handkerchief tearjerker’, it stands as an undying and deeply moving tribute to human resilience.