Naruse’s ‘Mother’ to Be Screened at WLAUMC

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Kyoko Kagawa and Kinuyo Tanaka in a scene from “Mother.”

“Mother” (1952, 98 minutes), directed by Mikio Naruse, will be screened on Friday, June 29, at 7:30 p.m. at West Los Angeles United Methodist Church, 1913 Purdue Ave. in Los Angeles.

Naruse (1905-1969) was one of the most famous and well-loved Japanese movie directors of his era. He was a demanding director whose stylized films earned him many of Japan’s distinguished Kinema Junpo (Best of the Best Films) as well as many international awards.

He was appreciated for his characterizations of life as it was in Japan, often in its darkest and least joyous dimensions. His subjects were almost always the lower working classes, especially women.

“Mother” (Okaa-san), one of his most famous works, is a portrait of a woman’s silent sacrifice as she struggles through the hardships facing so many working-class families during Japan’s immediate post-war era. Told through the eyes and memories of the oldest daughter, who hopes and prays for a brighter future for her family and for future generations, the story was based on a prize-winning entry of a school essay-writing competition.

The cast includes Kinuyo Tanaka, Kyoko Kagawa, Eiji Okada, Akihiko Katayama and Daisuke Kato.

Parking is available in church lot. Screenings are presented on last Friday of each month. Next month: “Black Belt” (2008, 97 minutes), directed by Shunichi Nagasaki. For more information, call (310) 479-1379 or visit www.wlaumc.com.

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