over 4 years
An impressive film. Beautiful in its rawness. The story is fascinating.
The Ballad of Narayama (楢山節考, Narayama bushiko) is a 1983 Japanese film by director Shohei Imamura. It stars Sumiko Sakamoto as Orin, Ken Ogata, and Shoichi Ozawa. It is an adaptation of the book Narayama bushiko by Shichiro Fukazawa and remake of the 1958 film directed by Keisuke Kinoshita.
The film is set in a small rural village in Japan in the 19th century. According to tradition, once a person reaches the age of 70 he or she must travel to a remote mountain to die of starvation, a practice known as ubasute. The story concerns Orin, who is 69 and of sound health, but notes that a neighbor had to drag his father to the mountain, so she resolves to avoid clinging to life beyond her term. She spends a year arranging all the affairs of her family and village: she severely punishes a family who are hoarding food, and helps her younger son lose his virginity.
The film has some harsh scenes that show how brutal the conditions could be for the villagers. Interspersed between episodes in...