We only have pieces of the original feature, but in 12-minutes we still get important information about the transition in Ozu’s work that slowly started to call out the disparity between political promises of higher education and the real conditions in which Japanese people lived.
Bordwell states, “In the late 1920s, over two-thirds of university graduates could not find work. The title quotes a popular saying of the period, a rueful joke on the false promise of higher education.”
Unemployment among college graduates will be a reoccurring theme throughout Ozu’s prewar work, reflecting the economic Depression which began in 1927 and continued into the 1930s.
I GRADUATED, BUT (1929) is like the Cliff Notes for what many Japanese grads were…