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4,497 Ratings



Directed by Akira Kurosawa
Japan, 1952


After learning that his stomach cancer has left him with less than a year to live, a Tokyo bureaucrat struggles to reconcile with his impending death and begins looking for ways to make his remaining days meaningful.

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Ikiru Directed by Akira Kurosawa
Ikiru, in short, may have looked a bit broader and more didactic than I remembered when I watched it again, a far cry from the subtlety and self-containment that are to me the graces of Japan. But somehow it still touches on a world that grows deeper within me every autumn, even as its themes and props surround me.
November 25, 2015
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After I watched Ikiru, I couldn’t sleep. Literally could not sleep. The film wrecked me. Wrecked me good. The next day I sought intellectual sanctuary from the overwhelming emotional damage I was experiencing. But the excellent historical and analytical commentary in the Criterion special features was no help. I was depressed. The film depressed me. For a number of days. And here’s the thing. What depressed me was the hope in it. So faint, so fragile, so dignified…so sad.
March 23, 2010
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The film’s iconic image—of Watanabe on the swing—is just so awesome and beautiful that, years later when you think back on the film, you will almost forget that this is one of the saddest movies ever made.
March 23, 2010
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