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The Ballad of Narayama (1983)

Narayama bushikô (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 29 April 1983 (Japan)
In a poor 19th century rural Japanese village, everyone who reaches the age of 70 has to climb a nearby mountain to die. An old woman is getting close to the cut-off age, and we follow her last days with her family.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (novel)
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9 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ken Ogata ...
Tatsuhei
Sumiko Sakamoto ...
Orin
Tonpei Hidari ...
Risuke
Aki Takejô ...
Tamayan
Shôichi Ozawa ...
Katsuzô
Fujio Tokita ...
Jinsaku
Sanshô Shinsui ...
Zeniya no Tadayan
Seiji Kurasaki ...
Kesakichi
Junko Takada ...
Matsuyan
Mitsuko Baishô ...
Oei
Taiji Tonoyama ...
Teruyan
Casey Takamine ...
Arayashiki (as Kêshi Takamine)
Nenji Kobayashi ...
Tsune
Nijiko Kiyokawa ...
Okane
Akio Yokoyama ...
Amaya
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Storyline

In a small village in a valley everyone who reaches the age of 70 must leave the village and go to a certain mountain top to die. If anyone should refuse he or she would disgrace their family. Old Orin is 69. This winter it is her turn to go to the mountain. But first she must make sure that her eldest son Tatsuhei finds a wife. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Only time could change the cruelty of tradition ... only their Love could survive it ... See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 April 1983 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Balladen om Narayama  »

Filming Locations:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Connections

Remake of The Ballad of Narayama (1958) See more »

Soundtracks

Oya wo nemurasu komori uta
Performed by Sumiko Sakamoto
Courtesy of Radio City Records
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
One of my five favorite movies ever - What is uniquely human
22 October 2000 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

With beautiful photography and sensitive, elegant acting, this is perhaps the best exploration of what it means to be human. As usual, Shohei Imamura draws direct parallels between the basic drives & instincts (hunger, greed, lust, anger, envy) of people and other animals. I have friends who have walked out of this movie because they found these comparisons so depressing when shown in the desperately poor rural Japan during the late 19th century. What they missed was the core intelligence, caring, self sacrifice, clear thinking and love that enabled that community, and by extension the human race, to survive such difficult times.

This sympathetic portrayal of a family in a rural village is the best of ten films I have seen from Imamura, with an epic scale of Akira Kurosawa and all of the subtlety of Ozu.


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