Ikiru is one of the greatest movies of the Japanese actor, Akira Kurosawa. This movie shows us the life “or non-existing life” of a Japanese man as he finds out that he has cancer with only little time left, how he is fighting to change his old ways little by little, how he is trying to help others and how he gets more alive as death is closing in.
The word Ikiru means ‘to live’ which is the movie’s main theme.
Although based in Japan, this story could happen in most countries nowadays, either with people who only live to work, or with government officials sending civilians from pillar to post so they don’t have to work.
It’s curious to see an entire night partying in Japan from a Japanese point of view. How the family treats the lead character, the Japanese lifestyle, and of course: sake!
Ikiru has received major awards and has been included among the 100 best movies of all times by several expert magazines.
Maybe it’s difficult to ask someone to see this movie nowadays, as we are accustomed to other plots, usually more simple and without too much content to think about. The reality is that if you start watching and you don’t let yourself succumb to nervousness or sleep because the movie is somewhat slow at first, it will eventually sweep you away while you hope you’d have the same strength as Kanji Watanabe.
On several occasions, I tried to watch Ikiru with another person and I always had to stop the movie at the request of my companion.