I Live in Fear

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Made between Seven Samurai and Throne of Blood, this contemporary social problem movie is Kurosawa's least commercially successful work. Mifune is the ageing, patriarchal head of a Tokyo family who, terrified at the prospect of a nuclear war, decides to sell up the family business and emigrate to a farm in Brazil. With Mifune uncomfortable playing a character twice his real age, and the character himself rendered incoherent by a script which seems uncertain whether it's him or society which is insane, a volunteer court official (Shimura) - required to adjudicate in the ensuing family squabble - a little awkwardly assumes the role of moral centre. It's a problematic film, wearing its uncertainties on its sleeve; but whether shooting in long takes or cutting the footage from multiple camera shooting, Kurosawa remains the cinema's supremely humanist emotional manipulator. See it and worry.

By: RM

Release details

Duration: 113 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Screenwriter: Shinobu Hashimoto, Hideo Oguni, Akira Kurosawa
Cast: Toshiro Mifune
Eiko Miyoshi
Takashi Shimura
Yutaka Sada
Minoru Chiaki
Haruko Togo
Kamatari Fujiwara
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