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Kuroi ame (1989)

Not Rated | | Drama | 1 February 1990 (USA)
The story of the aftermath of the Hiroshima bombing, based on Masuji Ibuse's novel.

Director:

Shôhei Imamura

Writers:

Masuji Ibuse (novel), Shôhei Imamura | 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 Yoshiko Tanaka ... Yasuko
Kazuo Kitamura Kazuo Kitamura ... Shigematsu Shizuma
Etsuko Ichihara Etsuko Ichihara ... Shigeko Shizuma
Shôichi Ozawa Shôichi Ozawa ... Shokichi
Norihei Miki Norihei Miki ... Kotaro
Hisako Hara Hisako Hara ... Kin
Keisuke Ishida Keisuke Ishida ... Yuichi
Masato Yamada Masato Yamada ... Tatsu
Tamaki Sawa Tamaki Sawa ... Woman in Ikemoto-ya
Akiji Kobayashi ... Katayama
Kazuko Shirakawa Kazuko Shirakawa ... Old Woman with white flag
Kenjirô Ishimaru Kenjirô Ishimaru ... Aono
Mayumi Tateichi Mayumi Tateichi ... Fumiko of Ikemoto-ya
Toshie Kusunoki Toshie Kusunoki ... Kane
Reiko Nanao 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:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

1 February 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Black Rain See more »

Filming Locations:

Yoshinaga, Okayama, Japan See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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.
See more »

Connections

Version of Kuroi ame: Mei no kekkon (1983) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Compelling
4 August 2007 | by paulmartin-2See 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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