Haha-tachi (1967) - full transcript

Documentary about the relationships between mothers and their children.

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Mothers

Production: Mitsuru Kudō

Camera: Tatsuo Suzuki

Poetry: Shūji Terayama

Narration: Kyōko Kishida

Music: Jōji Yuasa

Sound: Mikio Katayama

Director: Toshio Matsumoto

A mother is a book

that only a child can read.

A mother is a town



that only a child knows.

A mother is a window

that only a child can open.

A mother is blank verse

that only a child can make rhyme.

A mother is a mystery

that only a child can solve.

A mother is water

that only a child drinks.

A mother is a lie

that can only deceive a child.

A mother is a song

that only a child sings.

A mother is a bed



where only a child sleeps.

A mother is a voice

that only a child hears.

A mother is a journey

on which only a child can be sent.

A mother is a question

a child is the answer.

But if the question is too long,

the mother must answer it herself.

A mother is a wall

that only protects a child.

A mother is a town

that only a child knows.

A mother is darkness

through which only a child can pass.

A mother is a tear

that only a child can wipe away.

"Mama."

No matter how young she is,
a mother must answer questions.

My child is finally beginning to
open its new eyes to the world,

and to its endless "why".

"Why do pigeons fly
on Sundays too?"

"Why do you put jam on bread?"

"Why does the man have bad luck?"

"Why is the hair
floating in the soup?"

"Why won't the Pope
meet with France anymore?"

"Why does the river
flow into the sea?"

"Why don't buses have a chimney?"

"Why do people...
kill people?"

A mother thinks...

about the day when her child
will no longer ask "why".

"Life has its course."

"The day my child leaves..."

"That day on the table
in front of me"

"a slice of bread
will be left behind."

"Like the beginning of
a long, long Sunday."

"The Monday of my life."

"The Tuesday of my life."

"The Wednesday of my life."

"The Thursday of my life."

"The Friday of my life."

"The Saturday of my life."

"The Sunday of my life."

"In a corner of my heart
there was always a cradle."

"Since I was a virgin,
in a dark hammock,"

"I have made preparations for my
child who will someday be born."

"But then...
I think..."

"A hand that has never
killed a market pigeon"

"probably won't be able
to raise one either."

"Eyes that have never
stared death in the face,"

"how could they watch over a life?"

A mother is a tear

that only a child can wipe away.

A mother is a town

that only a child knows.

People have used the lark
in the wheat field as a lullaby.

People have used the sound
of the waves as a lullaby.

People have used the roar of
the subway on Sunday as a lullaby.

People have used
old piano music as a lullaby.

But here people have used
the sound of bombing as a lullaby.

A child asks its mother,

"What's heavier, me or the bomb?"

The mother replies,

"The bomb is heavier now,"

"but when you get bigger,
you will get heavier."

In a sunny wheat field, the mother thinks
of her child getting gradually heavier.

Eventually, the child will ask,

"What's heavier, me or the Earth?"

A mother is a grave

that only a child visits.

A mother is a song

that only a child can remember.

A mother is blank verse

that only a child can make rhyme.

A mother is a demon

that only chases after a child.

A mother is a wall

that only protects a child.

A prayer to the Sun
in endless repetition.

A prayer to the Sun
in endless repetition.

In Africa there are
several languages.

The word for "freedom"
is "rusununguko" in Shona,

"tokoloho" in Sotho,

and "efu" in Igbo.

But there is only
one word for "mother":

"Mama".

A palm tree makes the
stars in the sky its gods.

It makes the swell
of the sea its lullaby.

It makes the entire
countryside its mother.

Dear Son,

You can see your
place in the world.

"Mama."

A mother had a mother.

That mother had a mother.

That mother had a mother.

And that mother
had a mother as well.

And before that,
there was her mother.

A mother is a book

that only a child can read.

A mother is blank verse

that only a child can make rhyme.

A mother is a window

that only a child can open.

A mother is water

that only a child drinks.

A mother is a mystery

that only a child can solve.

A mother is a town

that only a child knows.

Every wonderful life
ends in death.

But even if a mother dies,
and her child dies,

and the child of that child dies,

the sea won't die.

A child asks its mother,

"Is there anything
beyond the horizon?"

The mother laughs and doesn't answer.

Then the child gets frustrated.

And beyond the horizon

it will probably imagine
the promised land.

The night that
I thought about love.

A mother is a sea

in which only a child
is allowed to swim.

A mother is a tear

that only a child can wipe away.

And a mother is a country.

A promised land not just
for a child, but for all.

Project:
Prima Meat Packers, Ltd.

Production:
Jiyū Kōbō