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I've only recently been introduced to the work of the great Akira Kurosawa. Firstly, I watched The Seven Samurai and was blown away. Then I watched Ikiru.
Ikiru, is a Japanese word that means 'to live'.
The story concerns Mr Watanabe, a Tokyo civil servant, who is diagnosed with stomach cancer. He hides this fact from all, apart from a man he meets in a bar and a young girl who used to work in his office.
He spends weeks trying to come to terms with his destiny and spends a night on the town with his new friend and a day in the company of the young girl. The main theme of the story is that although he has worked all his life to provide for his son, he has never lived. So, that's what happens, he tries to live. But he doesn't know how.

This is a moving story of a terminally ill man trying to find a way to justify his wasted life. I was literally in tears by the end of the film. Kurosawa and Takashi Shimura, the star, give us a wonderful experience. Watanabe's final scene, sitting on a child's swing in the snow singing an old love song, is beautifully moving.
Ikiru tranlation: To Live

Ikiru 1952 生きる (To Live) Akira Kurosawa


"We have to be greedy for life.
They say greed is a vice, but that's outdated.
Greed is a virtue, especially greed for enjoying life."
"I can't afford to hate people. I haven't got that kind of time."