A Distant Cry from Spring

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A Distant Cry from Spring

I first saw this film at the Hong Kong International Film Festival in 1981 and have often looked for it since (without any luck). Of the 50 films I saw in those 16 days (including masterpieces by Angelopoulos, and Syberberg's Hitler, A Film From Germany), Yamada's simple story turned out to be my favorite. When it recently turned up in a 5-disk Yoji Yamada box set, I immediately ordered it. Well, the disk is very poor quality, a murky transfer with the widescreen compositions butchered by a truly wretched pan-and-scan job -- and yet the quality of the film still manages to shine through. On its surface, there's nothing particularly remarkable about A Distant Cry From Spring. A widow struggles to maintain a small farm in a remote area of Hokkaido, fighting the elements and raising her young son. One brutally stormy night, a stranger appears at the door looking for shelter. Though wary, the widow offers him her hospitality. He leaves, but then returns in the spring and asks for wo
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