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THE IDIOT

Japan, 1951 (MIFF 1971, Akira Kurosawa Retrospective)

Director: Akira Kurosawa

Dostoevsky is Kurosawa's favourite author, and in Prince Myushikin, he admires the character's compassion and near godlike quality.

In The Idiot, Prince Myushikin becomes a Japanese returning from Okinawa to Hokkaido, where he innocently becomes involved in a menage a quatre. In a departure from Dostoevsky, both men become insane at the end of the film.

Otherwise, the film adheres to the novel; it is set in Hokkaido which is more similar to Russia than any other part of Japan; and Kurosawa refused to alter drastically the text. This places this film outside of a Japanese framework, and makes it one of the most difficult of Kurosawa's works.

See also...

JUDO SAGA

Kurosawa's first film was produced in 1943 - a time when a film could be rejected by the Information Bureau for showing American influence, though Judo Saga was safe in its portrayal of Japanese ... More »

SANJURO

A group of young aspiring samurai, all highly serious and idealistic, meet Sanjuro, an older samurai. ... His appearance shocks them. He is dirty, unkempt and sloppy, and his manners at times the ... More »

THE BAD SLEEP WELL

The daughter of the president of a government housing corporation marries her father's secretary. At the wedding ceremony, corruption is hinted at in the corporation; there is a police inquiry, and ... More »

THE QUIET DUEL

A young doctor contracts syphilis while operating on a soldier during the war. ... On returning to Tokyo, he enters private practice in the family clinic, but has to face the problems of his love for ... More »

I LIVE IN FEAR

The head of a large family, a wealthy industrialist, tries to persuade his family, his mistresses and their children, to emigrate to Brazil, where he thinks they will be safe from atomic extinction ... More »

NO REGRETS FOR OUR YOUTH

The theme of the film is based on the famous Takikawa Incident of 1933, which forced the resignation of Professor Yukitoki Takikawa from the faculty of Kyoto University for his supposed "communistic ... More »

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