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Akira Kurosawa is considered one of the finest film directors in cinematic history. The second feature-length film that he ever directed is titled The Most Beautiful (番美しく). Released in 1944, the movie is a World War II Japanese propaganda film shot in an almost documentary style about a group of young women working in a factory in Japan that has to increase production to meet an almost impossible quota as part of the Japanese war effort. The men are to increase their quota 100%, whereas the women are only expected to increase 50%. Dismayed by the lower quota, and wanting to do all they could to support their army, the women set about trying to increase their production by 66%. The story is mainly about the personal sacrifices and difficulties that the women face while trying to meet this quota.
The Most Beautiful is considered a minor work by Kurosawa, however, his directorial style and approach to the film are considered significant by film historians and Kurosawa enthusiasts.