No Regrets for Our Youth
Sunday Oct 08 04:00 PM
Doris Duke Theatre
Museum members: $10.00
General Admission: $12.00
About the Film:
Part of Akira Kurosawa Retrospective
Directed by Akira Kurosawa. Japan. 1946. Japanese with English subtitles. 110 min.
Before her career-defining collaborations with Yasujiro Ozu, in which she embodied the female spirit of post-WWII Japan, Setsuko Hara played a prewar heroine in Kurosawa’s No Regrets for Our Youth. The film spins a decade-spanning tale of a turbulent 1930s Japan around the central axis of radical student activism. Hara portrays Yukie, the daughter to a professor who loses his job because of his political views. The spoiled young woman learns it’s not enough to survive—one must live meaningfully. Made when U.S. occupying forces closely monitored the Japanese film industry, No Regrets has Yukie giving up a genteel existence for a hard life on a farm.
Kurosawa adapts this premise from a real-life incident—a Kyoto University professor was suspended and then fired for his allegedly Marxist teachings. As his first film following the end of WWII, it breaks from the rhetoric of his earlier films, which depicted patriotic and/or feudal values. Kurosawa’s voice as an auteur shines through, and though No Regrets for Our Youth contains Kurosawa’s only female protagonist, he would continue to represent the struggle of the individual to live a principled life throughout his career.