Narayama-bushi kô (Ballad of Narayama, 1983). Friday, April 23rd, 6 P.M., Zrinyi 14, room 412.

Narayama-bushi kô (Ballad of narayama), 1983.
Directed by Shohei Imamura

Based upon a traditional legend, Narayama is a plot-light study of a single year in a mountain village in the 19th Century, with particular focus on that region’s peculiar treatment of the elderly: once any person has reached 70 years of age, and thus is theoretically unable to contribute to the well-being of the community he or she is carried to the slopes of Mount Narayama and left to die of exposure.

To put this story in the context of Japanese culture, there’s a giant conflict here between, on the one hand, the idea of one’s duty to the rules of society and its survival, and on the other, the idea that elders are to be honored and respected, and Imamura is happily unwilling to come down firmly for or against the villagers and their seemingly vindictive behavior, which isn’t limited to their arcane euthanistic philosophy.

Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s