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Ikiru (BFI)

Released on 06 October 2003

Featuring: Takashi Shimura, Shinichi Himori & Haruo Tanaka

Format: DVD | Rating: 12 years & over

4.0 out of 5 (2 customer reviews) | Write a review

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"Sometimes I think of my death," wrote Akira Kurosawa, "I think of ceasing to be... and it is from these thoughts that Ikiru came." The story of a man diagnosed with stomach cancer, Kurosawa's film is a serious contemplation of the nature of existence and the question of how we find meaning in our lives. Opening with a shot of an x-ray, showing the main character's stomach, 'Ikiru' tells the tale of a dedicated, downtrodden civil servant who, diagnosed with a fatal cancer, learns to change his dull, unfulfilled existence, and suddely discovers a zest for life.
Plunging first into self-pity, then a bout of hedonistic pleasure-seeking on the frenetic streets of post-war Tokyo, Watanabe, the film's hero, finally finds satisfaction through building a children's playground. Beautifully played by Takashi Shimura (who starred in 21 of Kurosawa's films), 'Ikiru' is an intensely lyrical and moving film, and was one of the Kurosawa's own favourites.
  • Introduction by Alex Cox
  • Biographies of Kurosawa and Takashi Shimura
  • Interactive menus
  • Scene selection

customer Reviews

 Average rating (2 reviews)

 If its good enough for Kurosawa, it'll do me!

| | See all Colour's reviews (18)

This is Kurosawa's favourite film, and he's made lots of good films, he's made good films other people have copied and made into good films of their own - (which I'm sure you'll agree, is just plain cheating!) - This great film by the master of Japanese cinema, is subtle in all the right ways - so what if its just about a guy who likes to sit on a swing, the photography is superb, the central performance holds your attention and engages the viewer revealing the inner pain of a life affirming and up against all odds hero. Two hours of a man sat on a swing that you'll want to watch again and again!

 life is short..........

| | See all frankpoole's reviews (433)

the only kurosawa film i`ve not seen till today.the story of an office wallah who spends 30 years in the same job with no input,output,thanks or anything else.upon learning he has terminal cancer our hero decides to live each day as if its his last.sounds bleak-far from it.coming only 7 years after the end of ww2 and its aftermath this is a masterclass in film making from a director who ranks up there with kubrick,lang,hawks etc.a moving but uplifting journey of fate,death and life.its not always an easy film to watch but it really is an essential guide to how we deal with both death and life.....outstanding.

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ActorsTakashi Shimura, Shinichi Himori, Haruo Tanaka, Minoru Chiaki, Miki Odagiri, Bokuzen Hidari & Kyoko Seki
DirectorAkira Kurosawa
Certificate12 years and over
Year1952
ScreenFullscreen 4:3
LanguagesJapanese - Dolby Digital (1.0) Mono
SubtitlesEnglish
Duration2 hours and 16 minutes (approx)
RegionRegion 2 - Will only play on European Region 2 or multi-region DVD players.