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This film sneaks the meaning of life into a fascinating story.
Ikiru (To Live) gets my vote for movie of the century. If you can tolerate an older, slow-paced B&W film with subtitles, give it a try. It's set in urban Japan, around 1950, so it's less "foreign" than some other Japanese films made around that time. I've seen it in several video rental stores over the years, both dubbed and subtitled.
In order not to spoil the plot, let's just say that as a result of a series of events, a bureaucrat approaching retirement age realizes that his life to date hasn't amounted to much, and, given an opportunity to reflect, tries to do something about it. Then, just as you find yourself thinking "Gee, that sure was a short, sweet movie!" there is the bonus of a long and fascinating denouement. As movies go, it's a two-fer.
Now I'm firmly in the camp of "keep your expectations under control and you'll have a better chance of enjoying the film." But, much as I believe that another Kurosawa film, Rashomon, illustrates human truth (one truth per person), I think Ikiru illustrates, in a wonderful story with no preaching, the meaning of human life: it's what we put into it.