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The Inheritance (Karami-ai)


Dir. Masaki Kobayashi. 1962, 107 mins. 35mm. With Keiko Kishi, Tatsuya Nakadai, So Yamamura, Misako Watanabe. Kobayashi’s follow-up to The Human Condition was as intimate in scale as its predecessor had been epic—and every bit as masterful. A rich businessman () is dying, and his three illegitimate children must be located to receive their share of his fortune, a process complicated by the machinations of his young wife (Watanabe) and his secretary (Kishi). In a rare depiction of the bourgeois milieu, Kobayashi creates a vision of modern life that has been completely corrupted by materialism.

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