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Ikiru.1952.Akira Kurosawa

November.30.2009

If you’ve seen Seven Samurai, Ran, Sanjuro, Rashomon, and Yojimbo and I ask you if you’ve seen Akira Kurosawa’s greatest films and you say yes then you are definitely wrong. You missed one film and Ikiru is a gem that you need to watch and see.

Why? You may say. Well, it is an incredible journey of a dying government employee who tried to make a difference by creating a landmark in his area. The journey also entails that a dying man’s final wish is to enjoy the final moments of his life.

Philosophically, I believe this film hit the right spot. Being part of the government, there is a certain stigma that government officials are known to be slow workers and the government offices are filled with red tape; I guess that is quite true already. And a dying man would want to change his life by doing a 180 degree turn, by living the life, and by making a difference.

Though aside from the film’s portrayal of the changes made by the main protagonist, the realistic part kicks in and the pessimism of the government employees eventually shows even if there was a certain idolization in the life the main protagonist has provided to them. Again, reality kicks in; as the real change comes from within us and the people around us are just reminders on what we have to do, good or bad.

Despite the hardship of one’s being, if you find your real peace of mind, you won’t have to worry about anything else, even dying. And that’s why this film is a masterpiece.

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