Black Rain

Nov 09, 2007

Shohei Imamura, 1989, Japan, 35mm, 122 min

Adapted from a novel by Masuji Ibuse, this film follows the lives of three survivors of the US nuclear attack on Hiroshima. While the opening scenes deal with the horrible aftermath immediately following the bomb's detonation, the bulk of the film unfolds in the drama of everyday life five years later. The film follows Yasuko (Yoshiko Tanaka), her uncle Shigematsu (Kazuo Kitamura) and aunt Shigeko (Etsuko Ichihara), who are suffering from the slow death of radiation sickness. Imamura has chosen to portray the post-war discrimination against the 370,000 bomb survivors by showing its effects on the three protagonists as they struggle to live their lives traditionally. This is most evident in their repeated failures to find a husband willing to marry Yasuko, who is stigmatized for her exposure to "black rain,"a mix of radioactive ash and precipitation caused by the explosion.


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More on Imamura

"A masterwork . . . flawless . . . a profound chiller."-Vincent Canby, THE NEW YORK TIMES

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