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Always - Sunset on Third Street
Film ALWAYS 三丁目の夕日 (Always - Sunset on Third Street)
Country Japan
Director Takashi Yamazaki
Year 2005
Cast Maki Horikita, Hidetaka Yoshioka, Shin'ichi Tsutsumi
Details Colour 133 mins
A magical Japanese film about a small street community in Japan of the 1950s. Directed by Takashi Yamazaki it combines technical wizardry with deep felt humanity.

The film weaves together multiple storylines - a girl coming from the countryside whose dreams of being a secretary in a big car company unravel when she ends up as a bicycle repair apprentice. There's the wannabee prize-winning author who finds himself forced into looking after an unsettled kid. There's a doctor recovering from the death of his family in the still recent war.

Even more than this the film weaves together the changes happening in Japan of the time. A TV tower is being constructed marking the renaissance of Japan. Fridges are replacing the men who used to deliver ice. Coca cola is invading the shops but meeting resistance from those who are puzzled why they should drink soya sauce. And in a brilliant scene the whole street crowds into a living room to see the first TV.

An emotionally involving film, with characters who are being human and for which one can root. The film starts and ends with glorious sequences of pure transcendental cinema that lift the soul.