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The Girl in the Rumor 1935

  • Mikio Naruse
  • December 22, 1935
  • 54 mins
  • Japanese
A story of two sisters, the older being more traditional, the younger a "moga" ("modern girl"). Their widowed father runs the family sake shop -- but is running into financial trouble (causing him to make some bad decisions). Meanwhile, his long-time mistress's little business is also on the rocks. Amidst this, the older sister is introduced to a well-off suitor (a university boy who is much more intrigued by the less traditional "little sister"). Add a dotty grandfather, an officious uncle and busy body neighbors.

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A lot goes on in a very short movie, and with my poor Japanese and no subtitles on, I'll admit to having been confused at times. The relationship between the two sisters turned out to be my favourite part of the movie. This came as a bit of a surprise after the first half of the movie had me convinced that Kimi-chan was a snotty, arrogant brat, and Kunie was just an archetypal dutiful daughter. Both characters opened up significantly over the course of the movie, and I began to feel for them a great deal by the movie's semi-tragic end. I definitely advise watching this one, preferably with the subtitles if you don't speak the language.

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