Dr. Akagi

Nov 11, 2007

Shohei Imamura, 1998, Japan, 35mm, 129 min

DR. AKAGI is an eccentric black comedy and a humanistic portrait of pre-Hiroshima Japan that bubbles over with doses of savage wit, kinky sexuality and apocalyptic uncertainty. Set on a small Japanese island in the waning days of World War II, the film tells the story of one man's obsession to retain his decency and stamp out deadly disease. Akagi is an eccentric iconoclast whose determination to cure a hepatitis epidemic has earned him the nickname "Dr. Liver."From the fringes of Japan's militaristic society, Akagi gathers a motley crew of helpers: a dissolute monk, a nihilistic morphine-addict surgeon, a young ex-prostitute, and a wounded Dutch soldier. Together they round up a fresh corpse, a powerful microscope and movie lamp to assist Akagi in his determined and quixotic effort to locate the disease causing microbes.

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"Brilliant! Brimming with humanity and humor tied to a darker, violent... sexually kinky undercurrent."-Thelma Adams, THE NEW YORK POST

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