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Kuroi ame (1989)

Not Rated | | Drama | 17 September 1989 (USA)
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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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
Hisako Hara ...
Kin
Keisuke Ishida ...
Yuichi
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
Toshie Kusunoki ...
Kane
Reiko Nanao ...
Rui
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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

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 September 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Black Rain  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There was a color epilogue filmed that takes place in 1965 that was cut from the final version of this film. Takashi Miike has stated in an interview that director Shôhei Imamura, who behaved in a very demanding manner throughout the shoot, felt that though he did not wish to cut this alternate ending, that he needed to anyway, and that is why it was cut. 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 Black Rain (1989) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Shows deep compassion for humanity
1 December 2003 | by (Vancouver, B.C.) – See all my reviews

Shohei Imamaura's Black Rain was released in 1989 just at the onset of the AIDS epidemic, a fact that gives the film about the slow deterioration of Hiroshima radiation victims an added poignancy. The black rain in the title refers to the combination of ash, radioactive fallout, and water that fell one or two hours after the explosion. There have been other books and films about the dropping of the atomic bomb but none as unique and powerful as this one. Based on a novel by Masuji Ibuse who gathered information from interviews and the diaries of real-life bomb victims, the film depicts how an entire family is affected psychologically as well as physically by the bomb years after the original explosion. It is a horrifying vision but one that resonates with deep compassion for humanity.

The film begins in Hiroshima on August 6, 1945 as soldiers and civilians go about their normal daily activities. Suddenly a blinding light flashes and a thunderous blast is heard. Almost every single building is destroyed or damaged beyond repair. The first atomic bomb ever dropped on a city is now a part of history. Survivors must somehow restart their lives, unaware of the bomb's devastating after effects. Filmed in high-contrast black and white, the story centers around Yasuko (Yoshiko Tanaka), a young woman who is caught in the radioactive rain as her boat heads back to the city to search for friends and relatives. In Hiroshima, Imamura shows us indelible images that remain with us: a young boy with skin hanging from his body pleads with his brother to recognize him, an older man is in tears over his inability to free his son from piles of debris, a mother is in torment as she rocks the blackened body of her child.

When the family returns to their rural home, Yasuko's life is forever changed. She sees her friends dying around her and waits for the inevitable bouts of radiation sickness that have already affected her Uncle Shigematsu Shimuza (Kazuo Kitamura) and Aunt Shigeko Shimuza (Etsuko Ichihara). Pretending that there is only business as usual, the family denies that the bomb has affected Yasuko. "She forgot how Hiroshima and Nagasaki were destroyed. Everyone forgot it. They forget the hell of fire and go to rallies like an annual festival. I'm sick of it," says a friend Katayama (Akiji Kobayashi). Yasuko internalizes the tragedy, feeling shame for being different than others and guilty for being contaminated.

When her aunt and uncle try to find her a husband, the eligible men refuse to marry her because of suspicions about her health, even though Shigematsu has copied her diary to prove that she wasn't directly exposed to the bomb. The only suitor she feels comfortable with is another damaged man, Yuichi (Keisuke Ishida), who has a panic attack every time he hears the roar of an engine. At the end, the beauty of life shows itself ever so fleetingly when Yasuko goes to the pond and sees a sight she has been longing for all her life, the king carp jumping in the water, playfully as if to say that beyond despair there is still joy. Sadly we hear on the radio statements by politicians about using the bomb once again in the Korean War. "Human beings learn nothing", says Shigematsu. "They strangle themselves. Unjust peace is better than a war of justice. Why can't they see?" Immamura's Black Rain has hopefully allowed all of us to see more clearly.


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