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Ikiru

Akira Kurosawa, Japan, 1952

Kanji Watanabe has worked in faithful service at a municipal complaints office and looks forward to retirement when he learns that he suffers from stomach cancer and has only a few months to live. The news makes him realize how much he has wasted his life on bureaucracy and how little his own son cares for him. Kanji Watanabe finally wants to enjoy his life as well as he can. He dives into the nightlife, drinks, plays, dances and realizes that all this makes him no less lonely.

One day, Watanabe remembers some women from a poor neighborhood who had applied for a playground for their children. Now he wants to help realize the playground, and he fights against the resistance of that bureaucracy, which he himself has helped to shape throughout his life in order to give his life a meaning.
Kanji Watanabe has worked in faithful service at a municipal complaints office and looks forward to retirement when he learns that he suffers from stomach cancer and has only a few months to live. The news makes him realize how much he has wasted his life on bureaucracy and how little his own son cares for him. Kanji Watanabe finally wants to enjoy his life as well as he can. He dives into the nightlife, drinks, plays, dances and realizes that all this makes him no less lonely.

One day, Watanabe remembers some women from a poor neighborhood who had applied for a playground for their children. Now he wants to help realize the playground, and he fights against the resistance of that bureaucracy, which he himself has helped to shape throughout his life in order to give his life a meaning.
Duration
137 minutes
Language
OV Japanese
Subtitles
German
Video Quality
720p
Available in
Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Liechtenstein
Madadayo (1993)
Akira Kurosawa
Japan
134′
For his final film, Akira Kurosawa paid tribute to the immensely popular writer and educator Hyakken Uchida, here played by Tatsuo Matsumura. Madadayo is composed of distinct episodes based on Uchida's writings that illustrate the affection and loyalty felt between Uchida and his students. Poignant and elegant, this is an unforgettable farewell from one of the greatest artists the cinema has ever known.
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Dersu Uzala (1975)
Akira Kurosawa
Japan
136′
A military explorer meets and befriends a Goldi man in Russia’s unmapped forests. A deep and abiding bond evolves between the two men, one civilized in the usual sense, the other at home in the glacial Siberian woods. The film won the 1976 Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, the Golden Prize and the Prix FIPRESCI at the 9th Moscow International Film Festival and a number of other awards.
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Yojimbo (1961)
Akira Kurosawa
Japan
110′
The unemployed samurai Sanjuro (stunning as usual: Toshiro Mifune) travels through 19th century Japan to a remote mountain village, where two hostile family clans fight for supremacy by all means. Sanjuro skillfully takes advantage of the rivalries, takes sides here and there and plays both groups against each other in his daring intrigue game.
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The Bad Sleep Well (1960)
Akira Kurosawa
Japan
151′
A young executive hunts down his father's killer in director Akira Kurosawa's scathing The Bad Sleep Well. Continuing his legendary collaboration with actor Toshiro Mifune, Kurosawa combines elements of Hamlet and American film noir to chilling effect in exposing the corrupt boardrooms of postwar corporate Japan.
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Stray Dog (1949)
Akira Kurosawa
Japan
122′
He is still young, the actor who should become known around the world with masterpieces like "Rashomon" or "The Seven Samurai". Here, Akira Kurosawa has created a thriller against the background of the recent and completely unprocessed Japanese war past, of which many of the characters, whether woman or man, talk. "Stray Dog" plays during the sultry hot summer in Tokyo in 1949. The young and completely inexperienced inspector Murakami (Toshiro Mifune) gets his loaded service weapon stolen from his jacket pocket in an overcrowded bus. Murakami is beside himself. He fears the worst consequences for his still young career. Together with his older colleague Sato from the theft department, he sets out on a search for traces of the thief. While we roam about the Japanese post-war setting with him, he gains experiences and learns to keep calm from the old and experienced colleague Sato. Women who are involved in what is going on are also snarling at him as a greenhorn. An impressive milieu study by Akira Kurosawa, in which the master proves himself in the genre film and shows us what he is capable of in narrative, atmospheric and visual terms. Walter Ruggle
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Drunken Angel (1948)
Akira Kurosawa
Japan
98′
In this powerful early noir from the great Akira Kurosawa, Toshiro Mifune bursts onto the screen as a volatile, tubercular criminal who strikes up an unlikely relationship with Takashi Shimura’s jaded physician. Set in and around the muddy swamps and back alleys of postwar Tokyo, Drunken Angel is an evocative, moody snapshot of a treacherous time and place, featuring one of the director’s most memorably violent climaxes.
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Drive My Car
Ryusuke Hamaguchi
Japan
179′
Academy Award 2022: Best Foreign Language Film. - Yusuke Kafuku, a stage actor and director, still unable, after two years, to cope with the loss of his beloved wife, accepts to direct Uncle Vanja at a theater festival in Hiroshima. There he meets Misaki, an introverted young woman, appointed to drive his car. In between rides, secrets from the past and heartfelt confessions will be unveiled.
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Shoplifters
Hirokazu KORE-EDA
Japan
116′
After one of their shoplifting sessions, Osamu and his son come across a little girl in the freezing cold. At first reluctant to shelter the girl, Osamu’s wife agrees to take care of her after learning of the hardships she faces. Although the family is poor, barely making enough money to survive through petty crime, they seem to live happily together until an unforeseen incident reveals hidden secrets, testing the bonds that unite them.
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Hana Yori mo Naho (2006)
Hirokazu KORE-EDA
Japan
128′
The time is 1702. A young samurai, Aoki Sozaemon (Okada Junichi) has left his countryside hometown, and is now living in Edo (now Tokyo), in search of Kanazawa Jubei (Asano Tadanobu), the man who killed his father. He is living in a dilapidated tenement house, in the poor quarters of the city of Edo. His neighbors in the so-called "row houses" are all good, solid folk who can never even hope to rise out of the squalor of their surroundings. Sozaemon, the provincial samurai, becomes friends with a variety of characters including a habitual drunk, an unsuccessful would-be petty official, a ragman, a perky girl, a doctor, and a scrivener. As the relationships between the characters unfold we are led deeper in the blossoming love story of Sozaemon and the beautiful widow, Osae (Miyazawa Rie). Although he has never forgot his task to find his father's enemy and to succeed in his vengeance, being around Osae and her son, Sozaemon feels a warm feeling inside, which leads to doubts about the entire act of revenge. However, to walk away from the "revenge-act (ADAUCHI)", could actually bring his entire family down, not only without the reward from the Shogun, but also, as a samurai, to be unsuccessful on revenge would be an act of cowardice, and a disgrace to the entire family name. Sozaemon, still not being able to decide on if he should take the act of revenge, goes on with his everyday life, teaching the neighborhood children mathematics, reading and writing. He wonders whether he can ever enjoy life without the specter of revenge and swordplay. With the discovery of the rich meaningful life rather than the meaningless death of a warrior, Sozaemon, together with his strange friends at the tenement row house, decides to plot an act of the lifetime...
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Radiance
Naomi Kawase
Japan
101′
The story follows the social intercourse between a cameraman, Masaya, with a visual impairment, and Misako who disconnects from the world.
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The Third Murder
Hirokazu KORE-EDA
Japan
125′
Shigemori is a renowned lawyer who is to defend Misumi in court on a murder charge, who had already been on a trial for a homicide offense 30 years before. Since Misumi has already confessed to the new crime, everything seems clear. But then Mr. Shigemori begins to doubt his client's guilt... This film by internationally acclaimed director Kore-eda tells a moving story of a man who strives for truth while questioning his own faith in the law.
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Still the Water
Naomi Kawase
Japan
120′
On the subtropical Japanese island of Amami, traditions about nature remain eternal. During the full-moon night of traditional dances in August, 16-year-old Kaito discovers a dead body floating in the sea. His girlfriend Kyoko will attempt to help him understand this mysterious discovery. Together, Kaito and Kyoko will learn to become adults by experiencing the interwoven cycles of life, death and love.
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Asako I & II
Ryusuke Hamaguchi
Japan
120′
College student Asako falls in love at first sight with Baku after meeting at a photography exhibit. Romance sparks between the two but doesn't last long when Baku suddenly disappears from her life. Two years later, she spots a man that bears a striking resemblance to him. Even though it is only his physical similarities to Baku that attracted her to him, she doesn't say so and starts dating the soft-spoken young man called Ryohei.
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Our Little Sister
Hirokazu KORE-EDA
Japan
127′
After his very touching Like Father, Like Son, Hirokazu Kore-eda tells once again the story of a complex family: The three sisters Sachi, Yoshino and Chika live together in Kamakura. They travel to the funeral of their father, who left the family 15 years ago, and meet their 13-year-old half-sister Suzu. With great sensitivity for each of the sisters, Kore-eda looks at family ties.
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with bonus
Air Doll (2009)
Hirokazu KORE-EDA
Japan
111′
A story of love and frailty, Air Doll takes the essence of what it means to be human and distills it down to its purest form in this bittersweet love story that smoothly intertwines fantasy and reality. In a shabby, rundown apartment in an old part of Tokyo, a bright beacon of purity shines into being one day. Silent and motionless, the air doll that belongs to quiet and retiring middle-aged Hideo (Itsuji Itao) has never been anything out of the ordinary. Each evening after work, he chats with her over the dinner table, bathes her and makes love to her before turning in for the night. However, after he leaves the house one day, the air doll begins to twitch and move, miraculously coming to life. Like a newborn marvelling at the wonder of the world, she is awestruck at the beauty of everything around her. Tottering about in her tiny maid's uniform, she ventures outside the apartment with childlike curiosity. As she wanders through the city, the air doll is enthralled, talking to anyone she finds and trying to comprehend her own ephemeral existence. Though her life is only a few hours old, it changes forever when she walks into a video store and falls helplessly in love with the clerk, Junichi (Arata).
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Tokyo Story (1953)
Yasujiro OZU
Japan
137′
The Hirayamas travel from their hometown of Onomichi to Tokyo to visit their adult children. But the younger generation make them feel more in the way than welcome. It also emerges that their son’s career as a doctor and their daughter’s as a hairdresser are nowhere near as successful as the couple were led to believe from afar. The only one who really makes an effort to spend time with them is their daughter-in-law, Noriko, the widow of the Hirayama’s son who went missing in the war. On the journey home, mother Hirayama is taken seriously ill and the couple have to make an unscheduled stop in Osaka, where another of their adult children lives. In a succinct, objective and non-judgemental manner, Yasujirō Ozu uses images which are as simple as they are magnificent to tell the story of family estrangement and the isolation inherent in modern society. Ozu himself considered Tōky ō Monogatari his "masterpiece" and the 1963 Retrospective of the Berlin International Film Festival, the "film-historical screenings", was dedicated to him. This is the international premiere of the digitally restored version made by Japanese production company Shochiku.
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True Mothers
Naomi Kawase
Japan
140′
After a long and unsuccessful struggle to get pregnant, convinced by the discourse of an adoption association, Satoko and her husband decide to adopt a baby boy. A few years later, their parenthood is shaken by a threatening unknown girl, Hikari, who pretends to be the child's biological mother. Satoko decides to confront Hikari directly.
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Tokyo Family
Yoji Yamada
Japan
146′
In this film director Yoji Yamada bows down before his teacher and role model. Yamada was assistant director on Yazujiro Ozu’s «Tokyo monogatari», a moving family portrait set after the Second World War. In his remake, Yamada has made very few departures from Ozu’s masterpiece in order to update the story of ageing couple Shukichi and Tomiko to present day Japan. Once again, the pair decides to leave their quiet lives in the country to pay a visit to their children and grandchildren in Tokyo. Once there, they discover that neither their oldest son, a doctor named Koichi, nor their eldest daughter Shigeko - who runs a beauty parlour - has time for them: both are too busy attending to their everyday concerns. Even the youngest son went his own way. The old couple feel lonely and bewildered in the fast-paced metropolis. Adopting Ozu’s quiet observations of the family, Yamada’s version loses nothing of its topicality and, even sixty years after the original was filmed, the generation gap is still palpable. In fact, today’s young people are struggling to assert themselves in a far more confusing world, and this in a country where the scars of the 2011 tsunami still inform everyday life.
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Akasen Chitai - Street of Shame (1956)
Kenji Mizoguchi
Japan
86′
Five fates of women from Tokyo's brothel district in the 1950s are the focus of Kenji Mizoguchi's last film, who devoted the majority of his works to the historical and social situation of Japanese women. The theme is shaped by socio-critical commitment, human sympathy and unspeculative openness.
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Banshun - Late Spring (1949)
Yasujiro OZU
Japan
108′
Twenty-seven-year-old Noriko lives with her widowed father, a university professor, in a small house in the tranquil surroundings of northern Kamakura. He is completing a scientific manuscript, aided by his assistant, Hattori. Professor Sonomiya is concerned for his daughter s welfare, and one day suggests she marry Hattori. Noriko only laughs at his suggestion because she is quite happy with her life and knows that Hattori is already engaged. Her aunt Masa, the professor s sister, is the next person to try out her matchmaking skills, and she talks Noriko into meeting Mr Satake. Although Noriko quite likes him, she rejects all thoughts of marriage because she doesn t want to leave her father all alone. When she meets Professor Onodera, an old friend of her father s, in a museum one day and he tells her that he has just remarried, Noriko can hardly disguise her dismay. One of Ozu's favorite themes is the opposing desires of and friction between members of a family even though they feel deep affection and loyalty to each other. Inevitably, these interactions within a family, and particularly the problems which arise between parents and children, will result in some sort of separation. For Noriko it is the separation of marriage, in other Ozu stories it may mean being employed away from home or death. While Ozu is saddened by these events, he also recognizes that they are unavoidable. This awareness of the inherent transience and sadness of human existence is what the Japanese call mono no aware." Beverley Bare Buehrer
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Fukushima - No Man's Zone
Toshi Fujiwara
Japan
105′
A man wanders through the 20-kilometre exclusion zone around the stricken nuclear reactors at Fukushima. The cherry trees are in bloom and the natural surroundings make an idyllic impression. Radiation is invisible, yet a gaping emptiness looms where the tsunami engulfed streets and houses. The man is wearing normal clothing, just like the people still toughing it out here, for the time being at least. He occa- sionally encounters white "ghosts" in protective clothing, performing strange tasks. As in Tarkovsky’s STALKER, the zone in Fujiwara Toshi’s NO MAN’S ZONE is both a place and a mental state. A gradual disintegration began long before the destruction and devastation, a process defied for the most part by the old people our "Stalker" encounters. A voice accom- panies the filmmaker’s wanderings, that of Armenian-Canadian actress Arsinée Khanjian, a voice from a place of exile, unfamiliar and sympathetic. NO MAN’S ZONE is a complex reflection on the relationship between images and fears, on being addicted to the apocalypse, on the ravaged relationship between man and nature. For the zone to be decontam- inated and returned to the people, nature itself will have to undergo an amputation.
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Akibiyori - Late Autumn (1960)
Yasujiro OZU
Japan
129′
Seven years after the death of a close friend, three middle-aged men plan to arrange a marriage for the dead man’s daughter. But 24-year old Ayako doesn't really want to marry; she would rather continue taking care of her widowed mother. So the three men decide that the best course is to marry off the rather comely mother, Akiko, before the daughter … preferably to one of them. This plants seeds of estrangement between mother and daughter, and the latter begins to seriously consider one of the proposed marriage candidates … «Good grief, it's all very complicated,» we hear at the height of the comic-melancholy imbroglio. Director Yasujiro Ozu tells us the story in the simplest possible, yet artful, way, in images tinged with softness, both in color and language. Late Autum is the third to last film by the great Japanese director and only one of four color movies in his oeuvre. In honor of the 50th anniversary of his death and the year in which he would have turned 110, the original negatives have been used for digital restorations done in consultation with former members of Ozu's crew.
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Love And Honor (2007)
Yoji Yamada
Japan
122′
Shortly after assuming his post as food taster, Shinnojo loses his eyesight. The fish that was given to the head of the clan was poisoned. Prior to this, Shinnojo had held an inferior position in the ruler’s entourage. Realising that not only will he remain blind until the end of his days, but he must now relinquish his position and will need assistance for rest of his life, Shinnojo becomes dejected and melancholy. His wife, Kayo, is the only one able to prevent him from committing suicide: "I can’t imagine life without you. But, go ahead and kill yourself. If you do so, I will follow you immediately", is her response. Touched by her loyalty, Shinnojo gives up his plan to take his own life. Shortly afterwards, Shinnojo’s uncle advises him that, since he is no longer able to work, Shinnojo should ask Kayo to go to Shimada, the influential steward of the estate, and ask for his help. As time goes by, Shinnojo begins to get used to being blind. But then one day his aunt Ine tells him of a rumour she has heard about Kayo’s infidelity. Madly jealous, Shinnojo, who loves his wife and had always trusted her, orders his old servant, Tokuhei, to follow Kayo. Tokuhei discovers that the rumour is true. Having noticed that she was being watched, Kayo admits to having committed adultery with Shimada, explaining that the steward demanded her body in return for supporting Shinnojo. Throwing his wife out of the house, Shinnojo prepares himself for one last battle.
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Sansho Dayu - Sanshi the Bailiff (1954)
Kenji Mizoguchi
Japan
124′
Sansho Dayu is a film about a couple of children from a rich house at the end of the 12th century who fall into the hands of the bailiff. He owes his reputation as an exemplary feudal lord to the merciless exploitation of his slave army. Mizoguchi fluently tells this old legend of need and revenge in beautiful pictures.
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Surviving the Tsunami - My Atomic Aunt
Kyoko Miyake
Japan
78′
Once amongst avid admirers of nuclear plants and their managers, Aunt Kuniko and her community are on the verge of disintegration in the aftermath of the nuclear catastrophe. Director Kyoko Miyake, having lived outside of Japan for more than a decade, revisits Fukushima.
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Bakushu - Early Summer (1951)
Yasujiro OZU
Japan
125′
Noriko, still single at the advanced age of 28, lives contentedly in an extended family household that includes her parents and her brother's family. An uncle's visit prompts the family to find her a husband.
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