Living (Ikiru)

Living (Ikiru)

Living (Ikiru)

A middle-aged bureaucrat with terminal cancer determines to do something useful with the remainder of his life in this Kurosawa classic.

"It’s the story of office worker Kenji Watanabe, superbly played by Takashi Shimura, an actor in almost every Kurosawa film who rarely played a leading role. This 'ordinary’ bureaucrat, in late middle age, is diagnosed with terminal cancer, and the news leads him to re-assess his life, and his determination to achieve something worthwhile before he dies. Living is one of Kurosawa’s most humanistic films, but also one of his most ironic, which the later sequences indicate." (David Stratton, Sydney Film Festival)

Winner of the Special Prize of the Senate of Berlin (Kurosawa), 1954 Berlin International Film Festival
1952Rating: PG, Low level offensive language143 minsJapanJapanese with English subtitles
DramaWorld CinemaClassic

Reviews & comments

Village Voice

Village Voice

press

Often heavy-handed but never less than heartfelt, Ikiru (To Live) is universal in its thrust and startlingly astute in its narrative engineering.

Variety

Variety

press

Kurosawa performs a tour-de-force in keeping a dramatic thread throughout and avoiding the mawkish.

Time Out

Time Out

press

Kurosawa's eclectic style is a delight: his striking, varied compositions reflecting the old man's journey from darkness to some kind of light right until the moving finale.

4.0
The New Yorker

The New Yorker

press

Kurosawa achieves the piercing emotion and poetry of the Italian neorealists, but by opposite means: he doesn't make the camera disappear; instead... he deploys his camera so sharply and unerringly that it seems to take X-rays of the spirit.

The New York Times

The New York Times

press

It is a strangely fascinating and affecting film, up to a point.

Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert

press

I think this is one of the few movies that might actually be able to inspire someone to lead their life a little differently.

Empire Magazine

Empire Magazine

press

Meticulously constructed, beautifully played and poignant.

5.0
Village Voice

Village Voice

press

Often heavy-handed but never less than heartfelt, Ikiru (To Live) is universal in its thrust and startlingly astute in its narrative engineering.

Variety

Variety

press

Kurosawa performs a tour-de-force in keeping a dramatic thread throughout and avoiding the mawkish.

Time Out

Time Out

press

Kurosawa's eclectic style is a delight: his striking, varied compositions reflecting the old man's journey from darkness to some kind of light right until the moving finale.

4.0
The New Yorker

The New Yorker

press

Kurosawa achieves the piercing emotion and poetry of the Italian neorealists, but by opposite means: he doesn't make the camera disappear; instead... he deploys his camera so sharply and unerringly that it seems to take X-rays of the spirit.

The New York Times

The New York Times

press

It is a strangely fascinating and affecting film, up to a point.

Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert

press

I think this is one of the few movies that might actually be able to inspire someone to lead their life a little differently.

Empire Magazine

Empire Magazine

press

Meticulously constructed, beautifully played and poignant.

5.0

There aren't any user reviews for this movie yet.