…is another kind of film whose narrative presented a dead end for Masumura. The film tracks seven generations of a samurai family, and suggests that an immoveable structure of feudal politics continues to inform people and their possible actions…”even today.”
Remember, Kurosawa’s Rashōmon had won the big prize at Venice in 1951–and effectively introduced J-cinema to “the world.”
Many art-film viewers continued to laminate their ideas of contemporary Japan to images from Rashōmon–a film set in the 12th century. Masumara had some issues with this collapse of past and present history. It allowed Euro-American audiences to think of Japan as a “not modern” place, and allowed them to interpret contemporary Japan in according to the standards of films set in the late Heian period.