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Film Film August 24, 2000
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Akira Kurosawa
Ikiru
1952

An aged civil servant attempts to find meaning after he learns he's dying of stomach cancer -- in the hands of another director, this story might degenerate into bathos, but Kurosawa uses complex structure and shifting perspective to avoid sentimentality, while still managing to produce a myriad of powerful emotions. Indeed, the film is heartbreaking, uplifting, and humorous -- sometimes within the same scene. Takashi Shimura gives a brilliant performance in the lead role.


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