Saturday, February 09, 2008


Ikiru is a powerful, but understated classic by the acclaimed Japanese director Akira Kurosawa.

This is an old black-and-white movie filmed in Japanese (available from the Criterion Collection - you can find it on Netflix - with English subtitles). If that makes you think of Godzilla, you're definitely on the wrong track.

A man who has mindlessly slaved away in a government office for thirty years discovers that he has stomach cancer and perhaps six months to live. It's a grim wake-up call, but the subject matter is handled in a surprisingly gentle way and the story is uplifting and thought-provoking without being morose (and refreshingly non-sappy).

I don't want to share more of the plot than that, but wanted to mention that the faces, the expressions, the calm urgency of the main character, the camera angles and even the simplicity of the story are beautifully artistic - in a kind of primitive (as far as movies go) way. A really wonderful movie and very fitting to watch during Lent. Most appropriate for teens and adults.

Click here for Ana Braga-Henebry's Unit Study on Akira Kurosawa

Cross-posted from Love2learn at the Movies


Ana Braga-Henebry said...

Ah! What a film! One of Kurosawa's best!

Love2Learn Mom said...

Yes, and thanks to YOU for introducing me to it! Is your Heart and Mind unit study on Kurosawa available anywhere yet?

Ana Braga-Henebry said...

Yes, if you go to my archives page from my blog it is there in a pdf format.

Ouiz said...

I love his movies! Thank you for this review! I'm putting it in my netflix queue...