Decades after burying the final reel of a silent melodrama detailing the ill-fated romance between a pretty flower seller (Kikuyo Takahashi) and a kindly violinist (Shojiro Kataoka), a former studio errand boy attempts to make amends with the past by connecting with his granddaughter and unearthing the film in writer/director Takushi Tsubokawa's nostalgic labor of love. Years after the death of her father, Nami (Takahashi in a duel role) and her mother (Hideko Yoshida) remain locked in a melancholy state of perpetual mourning. As a child Nami's grandfather ran errands for a big movie studio. Spellbound by the romance that unfolded in the film that was then in production but devastated by the downbeat ending, the young assistant absconded with the final reel and hid it in the one place that nobody would ever suspect. Now and old man who has come to live with his grieving daughter and reluctant granddaughter, the former errand boy realizes just how much damage can be done when one refuses to acknowledge the wrongs of the past. Shot over the course of eleven years, Clouds of Yesterday accurately recreates the look and feel of a silent film during the scenes in the present while presenting the flashbacks to the past in vivid color.
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