Depicting, rather indulgently, a number of dreams vaguely intended to reflect Kurosawa's life and abiding obsessions, this is - to be frank - regrettably embarrassing. Its eight episodes, moving from childhood through war to a terror of nuclear pollution, are wholly devoid of narrative drive. Kurosawa's penchant for metaphor leads to risibly misguided and inadequate clichés: life's vicissitudes seen as a long mountain trek through a blizzard, the guilty aftermath of war as dark at the end of a tunnel, scientific fervour as a lemmings' leap into the abyss. Not a little reactionary, the film's main achievement is to show a once impressive director quite out of touch both with the world and with developments in cinema. Much of it is like a moron's guide to the Green manifesto, transforming serious issues into banal trivia, while George Lucas' Industrial Light and Magic supply surprisingly shoddy visual effects. Only during a final procession does the old Kurosawa magic get a brief look-in, but by then the hackneyed moralising and dramatic languor have ensured that, despite the well-meaning message, it's hard to care.