Kazoku (Where Spring Comes Late). 1970. Japan. Directed by Yoji Yamada. Screenplay by Akira Miyazaki, Yamada. With Chieko Baisho, Hisashi Igawa, Chishū Ryū. In Japanese; English subtitles. 106 min.
Shochiku’s most commercially successful and perennially beloved director, Yoji Yamada won five prestigious Kinema Jumpo awards for *Where Spring Comes Late*—arguably his most artistically accomplished film together with *My Son*—using popular actors like Cheiko Baisho and Chishū Ryū from his hit series Tora-san to tell the story of a rapidly changing Japan as it experiences an economic boom. The film shows a poor mining family from Kyushū in southern Japan heading north to Hokkaido to seek a better life as farmers. Along the way they pass through Osaka, then hosting the 1970s World’s Fair Expo, and the capital city of Tokyo. The film is shot entirely on location, employing a documentary style unusual for Yamada. 35mm print courtesy Shochiku