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I Was Born, But...(大人の見る繪本 生れてはみたけれど)

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Japan · 1932
1h 31m
Director Yasujirō Ozu
Starring Tomio Aoki, Tatsuo Saitô, Mitsuko Yoshikawa, Hideo Sugawara
Genre Comedy, Drama

When a family moves to a new town, two young brothers find themselves at odds with the other boys in their new school and begin to plot ways to climb the social ladder. Meanwhile, their father struggles getting ahead in his new mid-level managerial job.

Stream I Was Born, But...

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What are critics saying?


The New York Times by A.O. Scott

That it is more -- a small masterpiece, perfect in design and execution -- almost goes without saying, but the film’s profundity and its charm go hand in hand.


Slate by Dana Stevens

Qualifies as one of my favorite movies of all time. This 1932 masterpiece, now digitally restored with retranslated subtitles and a newly recorded score, is a silent film that doesn't feel silent at all.


Time Out by Joshua Rothkopf

Watching the first hour of I Was Born, But… (unspooling with a bright, new piano score by Donald Sosin) might remind you of a subdued “Our Gang” skit, and not unpleasantly.


Village Voice by Nick Schager

The film retains a measure of tempered hope, born not simply from the father's command-cum-wish to his slumbering offspring ("Don't become a miserable apple-polisher like me, boys"), but also from a final act of youthful compassion that binds Ozu's intensely human characters in glass-half-full solidarity.

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