Skip to: search, navigation, or content.


Indiana University

Outreach

Video Lending Library

Japan

Program Title: Ikiru [To Live]
EASC Code: JI-09
Series Title:
Region/Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Subtitles: English
Subject: Movie & TV Drama
Program Type: Feature
Media Type: DVD & VHS
Director: Akira Kurosawa
Producer: Shojiro Motoki
Release Date: 1952
Running Time: 134 min.
Color or BW: BW
Program Abstract: "A film about a struggle to give life value, Ikiru tells the story of a government bureaucrat who learns that his stomach cancer will only allow him 6 more months to live. How can he find meaning for all of his wasted years in such a short time? The government worker, Kenji Watanabe, played in a fierce performance by Takashi Shimura, eventually settles on a struggle against red tape, aligning himself with a group of women trying to get a playground built. Kurosawa reveals his tortured path to this decision for action and, then, strikingly, gauges his efforts in flashback, as Watanabe's life and death are considered by his detached family and peers, at his funeral.

Many understandably treasure Kurosawa's films for their singular dynamism. As it presents a man desperate to render meaningful 25 years of empty existence, Ikiru is remarkable in its quiet and contemplation."

Data Entry Date: 2/14/2000