Otona no miru ehon - Umarete wa mita keredo (I Was Born, But ) (Children of Tokyo)
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Otona no miru ehon - Umarete wa mita keredo (I Was Born, But ) (Children of Tokyo)
One of the last great Japanese silent films and one of director Yasujiro Ozu's first masterpieces, this gentle family comedy contrasts the complexities of adulthood with a child's innocence. Two young brothers, who are the unquestioned alpha-males of fellow classmates in their suburban Tokyo neighborhood, are outraged by their father's clownish and subservient behavior at his office. As the film progresses, the children come to accept that their father is not a great man, as they imagined, and in the process, they lose some of their innocence. Ozu reworked this film for his 1959… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"[I Was Born, But . . .] is a master class -- one of the [Ozu's] earliest -- in the art of distilling emotional intensity from quiet lives."
‑ Anthony Lane, New Yorker
"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."
‑ Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out New York
"The humour is sly, warm and playful."
‑ Philip Kemp, Total Film
"A charming, genial satire that touches on a bitter truth..."
‑ Josh Larsen, LarsenOnFilm
"Sociology and history aside, I Was Born, But%u2026 is also a romp and never loses its sense of humor."
‑ Don Willmott, Filmcritic.com
"Ozu's movie is also smart at levels almost too subtle to discern, perhaps not so much smart as wise."
‑ Dana Stevens, Slate
"The film retains a measure of tempered hope, born not simply from the father's command-cum-wish to his slumbering offspring but also from a final act of youthful compassion that binds Ozu's intensely human characters in glass-half-full solidarity."
‑ Nick Schager, Village Voice
"A silent film that starts as a hilarious, warmhearted comedy and ends as a sobering, heartbreaking drama about two young boys who discover that their father is not the great man they imagined him to be."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"A masterpiece, and one of Ozu's three or four greatest works."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"Behind the deft comedy and spirited performances of the two boys is a rather somber engagement with the compromises adults make to the demands of the social order."
‑ Sean Axmaker, Turner Classic Movies Online
"One of those silent black-and-white old movies that makes the subsequent advances in the medium look redundant."
‑ A.O. Scott, New York Times
"Both the gags and the emotional disappointments are anchored in a sure sense of characterisation that remains wholly fresh, and the pace of the whole film is worthy of Buster Keaton at his best."
‑ , Time Out
"Expresses the ideal vantage for surveying the joys and banalities of youthful and adult existence"
‑ Fernando F. Croce, CinePassion
"An amusing, well-acted and intelligent slice of social commentary."
‑ Avi Offer, NYC Movie Guru
"goes beyond the genre by offering subtle social criticism%u2014a first in Japanese cinema"
‑ John A. Nesbit, Old School Reviews