I Was Born, But…

Japan | 1932 | 90 mins | Unrated

Two brothers, Keiji (Tomio Aoki) and Ryoichi (Hideo Sugawara), move to a new neighborhood in the Tokyo suburbs after their father, an office clerk, gets a promotion. The boys join the local gang as lowly new kids and emerge as natural leaders after defeating a bully. While visiting the home of their father’s boss, the brothers witness the ridicule their father has endured to please his superior. Angry and embarrassed, the boys find their naive ideas about power being challenged.

Director: Yasujirō Ozu
Cast: Tatsuo Saitō; Tomio Aoki; Mitsuko Yoshikawa; Hideo Sugawara


Established as Silent Sundays by founding programmer Eric Veillette in 2009, Silent Revue is Toronto’s only year-round film series dedicated to silent cinema. Monthly screenings (more…)


I WAS BORN, BUT… (大人の見る絵本 生れてはみたけれど)

“Everything in this film is utterly believable, so much so that at times it seems almost anecdotal, a sweet little anthology of kids doing the darnedest things. That it is more — a small masterpiece, perfect in design and execution — almost goes without saying, but the film’s profundity and its charm go hand in hand.”

— A.O. Scott

A fixture on lists documenting the Best Japanese films ever made, as well as past editions of the Sight & Sound critics’ poll, I WAS BORN, BUT… is a masterpiece of global cinema. Released at the extremity of the late silent era, it’s a work pivotal to understanding its master director Yasujirō Ozu’s breathtaking filmography.

A bittersweet comedy, I WAS BORN, BUT… traces the growing pains of the Yoshi Family as headed by the Tatsuo Saitō—of TOKYO CHORUS fame. Having newly relocated to the Tokyo suburbs, the family’s two rambunctious and rascally sons rebel against their father after perceiving him to be in poor esteem at his workplace. Poignant and punctuated with laugh gags and profound moments of dire psychology in equal measure, I WAS BORN, BUT… is key Ozu. With its focus on the disillusion of the parental unit through the eyes of children—it’s a film that very much stayed with the master filmmaker for decades, culminating in its remake by Ozu in 1959 as GOOD MORNING. Screening as the conclusion to Silent Revue’s season-long tribute to Planes, Trains, and Automobiles of the silent era (Ozu was obsessed with locomotives!) – ALICIA FLETCHER

Courtesy of Janus Films

Live accompaniment by Marilyn Lerner

Silent Revue is curated by Alicia Fletcher

Special event sponsored by The Japan Foundation, Toronto

Silent Revue is sponsored by Hollywood Suite

Doors Open 30 Minutes Before Showtime.


General Admission: $17
Loyalty Members, Students & Seniors: $14
Individual/Family Members: FREE

Prices include taxes. All membership benefits are available.