Ikiru - Einmal wirklich leben

by Akira KUROSAWA, Japan, 1952
Picture of

Kanji Watanabe was the Chief of the Citizens’ Section of the Municipal Office with a record of 30 years’ regular attendance without absence. Suddenly this man failed to show up at work and with no notice. He received a big shock when the doctor pronounced him as having ulcer of the stomach and gave him only a few months to live. Having lost his wife some time ago, his first impulse was to go to his son, whom he had brought up single-handed and to disclose to him his agony and ask for consolation. But he finds his son married and with his own troubles and hardships of life. Kanji realizes that his son has gone completely out of his life, and he felt alone. Quite alone. In his small way, he attempts a resistance to society. He breaks his 20 year old abstinence and starts drinking, draws out his savings and plays around, but what only remains is the feeling of intolerable loneliness. At one such moment, a woman clerk in his section comes to see him. Her name is Odagiri and she has come to him with her letter of resignation. Struck by the youthfulness of this girl who is going to a city factory from the dreary government office, he returns to his office again, resolved that he will spend the rest of his short life in some worthwhile work. Out of the mountain of files which have piled up on his desk during his absence, he picks up a petition for filling up a sewage pool and to convert it into a small park. Even for a project such as this, there were confusing political persecutions, petty sectionalism, string pulling of the bosses. All these vices could not deter this man of determination whose life was fast waning. A proud little park which the citizens wished for, was finally completed. On the night of the opening ceremony of the park which was celebrated pompously, and in the quiet silence of the falling snow, Watanabe passed away on one of the swings in the park.



Original Title
Ikiru - Einmal wirklich leben
Ikiru - Einmal wirklich leben
Directed by
Akira Kurosawa, Shinobu Hashimoto , Hideo Oguni
Film Editing
KĂ´ichi Iwashita
Fumio Hayasaka
Asakazu Nakai
Fumio Yanoguchi
Production Design
Takashi Matsuyama
SĂ´jirĂ´ Motoki
Blu-ray, DCP
143 min.
Japanisch, Englisch/d
Takashi Shimura (Kanji Watanabe), Shin'ichi Himori (Kimura), Minoru Chiaki (Noguchi), Miki Odagiri (Toyo Odagiri), Haruo Tanaka (Sakai)

Pro Material

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Press voices

«Ikiru, einer der bedeutendsten Filme Kurosawas, ist die Geschichte eines kleinen Bürokraten, der angesichts seines bevorstehenden Todes ‹endlich einmal richtig leben› will: Er gibt sich zuerst dem Vergnügen hin, dann sucht er Anschluss an die Jugend, schliesslich benutzt er seine Stellung dazu, einen giftigen Sumpf in einer Vorstadt trockenzulegen und auf dem Gelände einen Kinderspielplatz anlegen zu lassen.»

Ulrich Gregor

«Virtuos verschränken sich in Ikiru verschiedene Erzählebenen. Aus ihrem Muster spinnt Kurosawa die Interpretation eines Lebens und aller Leben im Angesicht des Todes. Grenzenlos verloren und doch ganz bei sich, singt der sterbende Watanabe auf der Schaukel am nächtlichen Spielplatz inmitten des fallenden Schnees das Lied von der Vergänglichkeit der Blumen. Kein Augenblick der Filmgeschichte, der mit der Ruhe und Trauer dieser Einstellung zu konkurrieren vermöchte.»

Harry Tomicek