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Black Rain (1989)
"Kuroi ame" (original title)

 -  Drama | History | War  -  17 September 1989 (USA)
8.0
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 1,750 users  
Reviews: 20 user | 23 critic

The story of the aftermath of the Hiroshima bombing, based on Masuji Ibuse's novel.

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Writers:

(novel), , 1 more credit »
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Title: Black Rain (1989)

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26 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Yoshiko Tanaka ...
Yasuko
Kazuo Kitamura ...
Shigematsu Shizuma
Etsuko Ichihara ...
Shigeko Shizuma
Shôichi Ozawa ...
Shokichi
Norihei Miki ...
Kotaro
Keisuke Ishida ...
Yuichi
Hisako Hara ...
Kin
Masato Yamada ...
Tatsu
Tamaki Sawa ...
Woman in Ikemoto-ya
Akiji Kobayashi ...
Katayama
Kazuko Shirakawa ...
Old Woman with white flag
Kenjirô Ishimaru ...
Aono
Mayumi Tateichi ...
Fumiko of Ikemoto-ya
Taiji Tonoyama ...
The Old Priest
Fujio Tokita ...
40 Year Old Woman with burns
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Storyline

Mr and Mrs Shizuma, and their niece Yasuko, make their way through the ruins of Hiroshima, just after the atomic bomb has dropped. Five years later, Yasuko is living with her aunt and uncle, and her senile grandmother, in a village containing many of the bomb survivors. Yasuko does not appear to be affected by the bomb, but the Shizuma's are worried about her marriage prospects, as she could succumb to radiation sickness at any time. Written by Will Gilbert

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 September 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Kuroi ame  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Yoshiko Tanaka, the cast were forbidden by the director to leave the village they were filming in to return to Tokyo, even if they had a day off, because Imamura did not wish for them to then return to the location having experienced again the comfort and ease present-day of city life. See more »

Quotes

Shigematsu Shizuma: "An unjust peace is better than a just war." It's important to note that this is said cynically.
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Connections

Referenced in Film Geek (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Compelling
4 August 2007 | by (Melbourne, Australia) – See all my reviews

It was evident until the final credits that this film was made in 1989, as all the elements of its production were made to look 1960's - the acting, the characterisations, the sets and the props all had an aesthetic from an earlier time.

The film opens to the moments prior to the dropping of the A-bomb on Hiroshima and how this tragic incident affects one family: a young woman, Yasuko, who lives with her aunt and uncle. Even in black and white, and using special effects that are quite primitive by modern standards but emotive and effective nonetheless, the depictions of the immediate aftermath of the bomb are quite horrific. Family members become unrecognisable to each other, others resemble zombies as they wander the streets bedraggled and in shock.

The title refers to rainfall that fell soon after the bomb, which was mixed with radioactive ash, and in which Yasuko is caught. Rumors of Yasuko's being in Hiroshima at the time of the bombing affect her marriage prospects and it is later learnt that the black rain is indeed causing sicknesses. The film is concerned not just with the physical effects of the bomb on the Japanese, but on the social and psychological damage that was wrought.

I found the film compassionate and a fascinating journey into a unique culture. While the film is primarily concerned with the pain felt by one family, the film's gentle political message is relevant today and probably for all time - wars have horrific consequences, and should not be entered into unless absolutely necessary. It is said that history repeats itself, and the current leaders of the 'Coalition of the Willing' have learned nothing. While atomic warfare has not resurfaced since 1945, other deadly after-effects have. This film is compelling viewing.


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