Those Who Make Tomorrow

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Those Who Make Tomorrow
Those Who Make Tomorrow.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Akira Kurosawa
Hideo Sekigawa
Kajirō Yamamoto
Written byYusaku Yamagata
Kajirō Yamamoto
Produced byKeiji Matsuzaki
Sōjirō Motoki
Ryo Takei
Tomoyuki Tanaka
Starring Susumu Fujita
Hideko Takamine
CinematographyTakeo Itō
Taiichi Kankura
Mitsuo Miura
Music by Noboru Itō
Distributed by Toho
Release date
  • 1 May 1946 (1946-05-01)(Japan) [1]
Running time
82 minutes
CountryJapan
Language Japanese

Those Who Make Tomorrow (明日を創る人々, Asu o tsukuru hitobito) is a 1946 Japanese film directed by Akira Kurosawa, Hideo Sekigawa and Kajirō Yamamoto (who was also co-writer). [2] It was produced to illustrate the purpose of the workers' union at the Toho film studios, as the Allied Forces endorsed the formation of unions as part of the democratisation process during the post-World War II Occupation of Japan. [3] Toho's studio stars Hideko Takamine and Susumu Fujita appear playing themselves.

Contents

Plot

The sisters Chieko, a script girl working at a big film studio, and Aiko, a revue dancer, are daughters to anti-unionist father Gintarō. When the workers at a railway company, including the family's subtenant Seizo, go on strike, Chieko and her co-workers demonstrate their solidarity and call for strike as well to achieve financial security for the film studio's staff. Meanwhile, Aiko and her dancing troupe decide to get organised in opposition to the theatre's mean stage manager. When Gintarō is fired together with a large group of employees at his company, he finally gives up his reluctance and joins the unionists, impressed by their earnestness.

Cast

Background

As a result of the first strike by the Toho labor union in March 1946, a production administration committee was established, allowing the union to take part in decision-making. At the suggestion of the Allied Forces' Civil Information and Education Section, the film was planned by the union, produced in a week, and released on International Workers' Day, [3] the celebration of which had been banned in Japan since 1936. [4] Kurosawa later distanced himself from the film, calling it "an excellent example of why a committee-made film is no good," [5] and refused to mention it in his autobiography. [2]

Reception

Critical and commercial reception of the film was not positive. [3] Kyuichi Tokuda, chairman of the Japanese Communist Party, called the film "too intellectualized and uninteresting." [3]

Legacy

Those Who Make Tomorrow was screened as part of a retrospective on actress Hideko Takamine by the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo in 2004. [6]

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References

  1. "明日を創る人々". Kinenote (in Japanese). Retrieved 17 June 2023.
  2. 1 2 Anderson, Joseph L.; Richie, Donald (1959). The Japanese Film – Art & Industry. Rutland, Vermont and Tokyo: Charles E. Tuttle Company.
  3. 1 2 3 4 Hirano, Kyoko (1992). Mr. Smith Goes to Tokyo: Japanese Cinema Under the American Occupation, 1945–1952. Washington and London: Smithsonian Institution Press. ISBN   1-56098-157-1.
  4. Gordon, Andrew (1992). Labor and Imperial Democracy in Prewar Japan. Berkeley, Los Angeles and London: University of California Press. p. 282. ISBN   9780520080911.
  5. Richie, Donald; Mellen, Joan (1998). The Films of Akira Kurosawa (Third ed.). Berkeley, Los Angeles and London: University of California Press. ISBN   978-0-520-220379.
  6. "映画女優 高峰秀子(1) – Hideko Takamine Retrospective [Part 1]". National Film Center (in Japanese). Retrieved 17 June 2023.