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Festival Year Festival Section

Alternative Title 1 [SONG OF HOME, THE]
Alternative Title 2 [CANZONE DI CASA, LA]
Alternative Title 3
Country Japan
Release Date 1925
Production Co. Nikkatsu
Director Mizoguchi, Kenji

Format   Speed (fps)
35mm   20
Footage   Time
3774 ft.   50'

Archive Source National Film Center
Print Notes Didascalie in giapponese / Japanese intertitles.

Shigeru Kifuji
Masujiro Takagi
Sueko Ito
Mineko Tsuji
Kentaro Kawamata
Shiro Kato
Shizue Matsumoto
Michiko Tachibana
Other Credits
Yokota, Tatsuyuki (ph.)
Other Information
John Sweeney, pianoforte.
prima proiezione / released 17.9.1925
Program Notes
Naotaro Takeda, a young coachman, hankers after city life. Though he was an excellent student in primary school, he could not go on to higher education because he was poor. One day some of his former classmates return home from the city. They begin to live in a manner alien to country life, and their behavior starts to affect the young people of the village, who gradually lose their innocence by imitating the frivolous ways of city life. Naotaro saves a drowning girl, the daughter of a foreigner who is researching education in Japan. The foreigner offers to pay for Naotaro's education in the city, but Naotaro decides to remain in the village and become an excellent farmer.
This is the earliest surviving film by Kenji Mizoguchi, who had already made about 30 films. Throughout the 1920s Mizoguchi made extremely diverse kinds of films, ranging from the traditional Shinpa with oyamas to comedy, horror, serials, and even expressionist film. Furusato No Uta might be classified as an educational film. One should not be surprised by its ethical tendencies. Even though this was Mizoguchi's only educational film, it is very well known that he made some enlightenment films after the War. This could thus be regarded as Mizoguchi's first socially conscious "message film". His later proletarian films, like Tokai Kokyogaku (Metropolitan Symphony, 1929) and Shikamo Karera Wa Yuku (And Yet They Go, 1931), can also be included in this genre. The Ministry of Education invited Mizoguchi to enter a scriptwriting contest to promote agricultural activity for young people in 1924. A man named Choji Matsui won second prize. This film is based on this script, which was re-adapted by a professional scriptwriter at Nikkatsu. - HK