I Live in Fear



IMDb Rating 7.3 10 3,674


Downloaded times
February 18, 2020



Takashi Shimura as Narihisa Ichijô
Toshirô Mifune as Tsuruchiyo Niiro
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
951.1 MB
Japanese 2.0
23.976 fps
103 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.72 GB
Japanese 2.0
23.976 fps
103 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Steffi_P 8 / 10 / 10

"Living things like us are here – what will become of us?"

I Live in Fear, more accurately translated from the Japanese as Record of a Living Being, marks a move towards gloomier, more pessimistic works from Kurosawa. It is, as far as I know, the earliest film to deal head-on with the issue of nuclear weapons. While Japan's own Godzilla (1954) and US films like Kiss Me Deadly (1955) made metaphors for the destructive capabilities of the bomb, I Live in Fear looks directly at the unspoken social terror by which those other allegorical films were inspired. But this is not a one-issue film. Kurosawa also rails against the problems in a typical patriarchal Japanese family – both with the family elder's demanding control over his children and also the younger generation's disrespect for the old man. However, an overarching theme seems to be an attack on individualism. Niide, the patriarch seeks only to save himself and his family. Throughout the picture we are reminded that there is a wider society out there, beginning with the opening shots of crowded streets scenes (which remind me of the beginning of The Public Enemy). So Kurosawa puts several of his political eggs in I Live in Fear's basket, but the points are skilfully woven together around the theme of the nuclear threat. While we aren't confronted with an actual demonstration of the effects of nuclear war, the imagery of total destruction is there in subtle ways. The iron foundry which Niide owns resembles a ruined, burnt out city. At one point, Niide is startled by the beginning of a thunderstorm – the perfect metaphor for a nuclear strike; a flash, a boom and rainfall (in other words, the radioactive fallout after the explosion). It's a slightly obvious device, but the timing is perfect. One of the most haunting images comes towards the end, in a scene where a dusty wind is blowing through Niide's house, flapping through the pages of a book he has left open on the floor. Kurosawa's regular leading man Toshiro Mifune is daringly cast as the elderly Niide. With makeup ageing his features, the thirty-five year old is in a role unlike any he had played before. He's perhaps a little too lively to convince as an old man, but what counts is that he brings as much power to the performance as he did to his role as Kikuchiyo in Seven Samurai the previous year. His standout scene is the one in which he confronts Dr Harada after getting off the bus, and confesses that he is now terrified. Kurosawa cleverly amplifies his speech by having it take place under a road bridge. Kurosawa's favourite supporting actor, Takashi Shimura, plays Dr Harada, and turns in a strong performance as a kind of consistent voice of reason throughout the picture. One criticism I sometimes have of Kurosawa is that in his effort to make a point, he occasionally forgets to make a film enjoyable for the audience, and this is somewhat the case here. I Live in Fear is not the most entertaining of Kurosawa's pictures. On the other hand, it's not all that long, and there's a slightly hysterical tone to it that occasionally makes it spellbinding. Kurosawa said this was the picture that he was most proud of, and you can see why. It was a flop at the Japanese box office, and has never been all that popular, but as a record of the atmosphere of the times, it really deserves more recognition.

Reviewed by sleepdeprived 7 / 10 / 10

excellent, moving film

"I Live in Fear" is a thought-provoking, moving film about love, greed and fear, framed as only Kurosawa could. If you're a fan it's a must see, as it explores new and old themes in a stark, interesting manner. Excellent acting through-out, and please look carefully--Mifune wears no make-up, just huge glasses and a perpetual scowl; his talent and intensity were all he needed. This film also gives us an interesting look at Japan after the bomb, and the different ways people chose to deal with the fear they all in fact felt. The film does not judge, sympathizing with the children even as it highlights their selfishness. A good movie to make you think about where we've been, and where we might be headed.

Reviewed by kanarazu 7 / 10 / 10

Good film

I felt I had to post because this film, not one of my favorites by Kurosawa but still a one of quality and intelligence, keeps getting bashed by reviewers. The low score (compared to other Kurosawa films) shouldn't discourage potential viewers. Granted, this film takes more patience than some of his other films. However, the subject matter of the atomic bomb and how Japanese society and individuals deal I thought was very seminal. The whole concept of fear is deeply imbued into the film and it questions the sanity of the viewer and the world who live under the constant threat of universal destruction with ignorant self-assurance. The ideas are intelligent and presented with clarity. This film is complete and good in itself and doesn't need to rely on the name of Kurosawa to justify itself. Not a good Kurosawa film to start off with if one is trying to nurse an interest in his fecund movies but a good movie to watch nonetheless particularly if one is at all curious about how Japanese people feel about the horror of the atomic bomb.

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