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I LIVE IN FEAR

Japan, 1955 (MIFF 1971, Akira Kurosawa Retrospective)

Director: Akira Kurosawa

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. The family, loath to leave their wealth behind, appeal to the Tokyo Family Court to have the man certified incompetent. He, however, persists that they all face annihilation, and burns his factory down to remove any financial ties that might hold the family to Japan. But his act renders his workers jobless, and the realisation of this drives him over the edge of sanity.

I Live in Fear was made in the year following the Russian, American and British nuclear bomb experiments, and the film expresses the misgivings Kurosawa and his co-workers shared with the people of Japan about the safety of mankind.

See also...

HIGH AND LOW

Gondo, the production head of a shoe factory, mortgages his house and belongings to gain control of the company. Before he proceeds, a kidnapper rings and asks for a large amount of money for the ... More »

THE IDIOT

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 ... 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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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