Original Title: Ani imôto
Director: Mikio Naruse
This little known Japanese film is really special. At just under 90 minutes, it starts after the story has already started and ends without any real resolution, firmly setting it apart from the vast majority of celluloid out there.
The story is about a family who were once been wealthy but, due to industrialisation, have become poor, deriving their income from a small store which sells ices, popsicles, lemonade etc., as well as the wages their son earns engraving tomb-stones.
The older daughter (played by Machiko Kyo) is pregnant by a man who has disappeared. The younger daughter is in love with the adopted son of a noodle manufacturer.
That is the story. Great acting, superb cinematography, a tight script and a truly wonderful score by Ichirô Saitô make it work. In a big way.