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Information

Year
1952
Runtime
143 min.
Director
Akira Kurosawa
Genre
Drama
Rating *
8.3
Votes *
44,060
Checks
8,661
Favs
1,509
Dislikes
48
Favs/checks
17.4% (1:6)
Favs/dislikes
31:1
* View IMDb information

Top comments

  1. Scratch47's avatar

    Scratch47

    I'm going to come out and say it: 4 years ago, age 22, I was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. Without going into details, I undertook a very different journey than most to the cancer experience, I fought, with alternatives and great stubbornness, spending a lot of time exploring my darkside and making peace with myself. My dogged determination and some remarkable occurences seem to have ensured remission, but you can't beat the human condition and I have no pretenses at immortality, so whether you give me another 5 or 50 years...my only mission as such is to take life by the balls and remember this film.

    Watching this film for the first time tonight presents life's exit as ultimate and inescapable, giving the viewer a choice both crystal clear and razor sharp. How would you live if passion and love were your only choices? It's that simple, that brutal. Towards the end, the pacing drops to 'utterly aching', and the sound drops away: yes, the film itself might be a little too long, but the lethargic pacing in the final reel is there for a purpose, this is where you come in, where you meditate on what death means to you. Kurosawa is respecting your intelligence, inviting you to cut out your heart for the grandest of causes. The beautifully shot sets almost breathe with that intensity. I see a great amount of what I've become in those moments where Wanatabe bows his head only to slowly rise and stare into the camera: such despondency, yet such fierce longing and humanity burning deeply in his wide open eyes. I saw the best of man in a single moment, and I almost wanted to cheer. I don't see this as a sad film - my grief has been satiated. Wanatabe does not become the angel of death that he is briefly portrayed as. That choice is open to all of us.
    This work welcomes a conversation on the most human of topics in a graceful and powerful way. Every human being should watch this deeply, deeply mature film.
    7 years ago
  2. bodoni's avatar

    bodoni

    "I have seen Ikiru every five years or so, and the older I get, the less Watanabe seems like a pathetic old man, and the more he seems like every one of us"
    Ebert review: http://tiny.cc/y8rgdj28s5
    10 years 1 month ago
  3. seithscott's avatar

    seithscott

    Beautiful and brilliant, a masterpiece. I didn't actually find it depressing but it really makes you think about your life and the choices you make. The more I watch Kurosawa the more that I see how brilliant he really was. 9 years 7 months ago
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In 22 official lists

  1. This movie ranks #2 in Roger Ebert's Great Movies
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    2
  2. This movie ranks #9 in Arts & Faith's Top 100 Films
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    9
  3. This movie ranks #13 in Kinema Junpo's Top 200 Japanese Films
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    13
  4. This movie ranks #17 in IMDb's 1950s Top 50
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    IMDb's 1950s Top 50

    17
  5. This movie ranks #31 in iCheckMovies's Most Favorited
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    31
  6. This movie ranks #48 in Empire's The 100 Best Films of World Cinema
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    Empire's The 100 Best Fi…

    48
  7. This movie ranks #95 in Tom Vick's Asian Cinema: A Field Guide
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    95
  8. This movie ranks #108 in IMDb's Top 250
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    IMDb's Top 250

    108
  9. This movie ranks #112 in TSPDT's 1,000 Greatest Films
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    112
  10. This movie ranks #129 in FOK!'s Film Top 250
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    129
  11. This movie ranks #132 in Reddit Top 250
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    132
  12. This movie ranks #136 in Sight & Sound's The Greatest Films of All Time
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    Sight & Sound's The Grea…

    136
  13. This movie ranks #183 in Mark Cousins's The Story of Film: An Odyssey
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    Mark Cousins's The Story…

    183
  14. This movie ranks #222 in BFI's 360 Classic Feature Films Project
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    222
  15. This movie ranks #241 in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die
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    241
  16. This movie ranks #246 in The Criterion Collection
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    The Criterion Collection

    246
  17. This movie ranks #331 in Jonathan Rosenbaum's Essential Cinema
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    331
  18. This movie ranks #378 in Halliwell's Top 1000: The Ultimate Movie Countdown
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    Halliwell's Top 1000: Th…

    378
  19. This movie ranks #402 in The New York Times's Book of Movies
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    The New York Times's Boo…

    402
  20. This movie ranks #433 in The Guardian's 1000 Films to See Before You Die
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    The Guardian's 1000 Film…

    433
  21. This movie ranks #446 in David Thomson's Have You Seen?
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    446
  22. This movie ranks #459 in Empire's The 500 Greatest Movies of All Time
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    459
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