Floating Clouds

Watch Floating Clouds

  • 1955
  • 2 hr 3 min
  • 7.6  (3,129)

Floating Clouds is a 1955 Japanese film directed by Mikio Naruse. The plot revolves around a young Japanese woman named Yukiko, played by Hideko Takamine, who moves to French Indochina after the end of World War II. The film follows her journey through a series of relationships and experiences as she tries to build a new life for herself in an unfamiliar land.

The movie begins with Yukiko's arrival in Saigon, where she is reunited with her former lover, Kengo, played by Masayuki Mori. The two had met during the war and had fallen in love, but Kengo had to return to Japan and Yukiko was unable to leave with him. Now, years later, they meet again, but their relationship is complicated by the fact that Kengo is now married and has a child.

Despite this, Yukiko and Kengo begin an affair, which takes them on a journey through Vietnam and other parts of Indochina. Along the way, they encounter a range of characters, from expatriates to locals, and Yukiko's experiences as a foreigner taking place in a post-colonial landscape shape her perspective on life in a different way.

Despite the beauty of the landscape and the people they meet, Yukiko and Kengo's relationship is fraught with tension and uncertainty. As time passes, they begin to realize that they cannot escape the past, and that the changes they had hoped to make in their lives are not as simple as they had hoped. The film explores themes of regret, hopelessness, and the search for forgiveness.

One of the most notable aspects of Floating Clouds is the cinematography, which captures not only the beauty of the landscape but also the emotional complexity of the characters. The camera work, which often features long takes and a restrained approach to editing, draws the viewer into the characters' internal struggles and emotional journeys.

The film also features strong performances by the leads, especially Hideko Takamine as Yukiko. Takamine creates a character who is complex and flawed, yet also sympathetic and relatable. Her performance captures Yukiko's emotional turmoil, as well as her determination to make a new life for herself in Indochina.

Finally, the film is notable for its portrayal of the social and political context of post-World War II Japan, as well as the challenges faced by Japanese women in the mid-twentieth century. Against this backdrop, Floating Clouds explores themes of identity, cultural difference, and the search for meaning in a turbulent time.

Overall, Floating Clouds is a beautifully crafted film, which explores universal themes of love, loss, and the difficulty of moving on. With strong performances, stunning cinematography, and a thoughtful script, it is a true masterpiece of Japanese cinema, and a powerful reflection on the human condition.

Floating Clouds
Floating Clouds doesn't appear to be available from any streaming services.
Add this movie to your Watchlist to get notified when it's available.
  • Release Date
  • Runtime
    2 hr 3 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.6  (3,129)