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Black Rain (1989)

Yoshiko Tanaka , Kazuo Kitamura , Sh˘hei Imamura  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)

Price: $49.99
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Black Rain + White Light, Black Rain: The Destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
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Product Details

  • Actors: Yoshiko Tanaka, Kazuo Kitamura, Etsuko Ichihara, Sh˘ichi Ozawa, Norihei Miki
  • Directors: Sh˘hei Imamura
  • Writers: Sh˘hei Imamura, Masuji Ibuse, Toshir˘ Ishid˘
  • Producers: Sh˘hei Imamura, Hisao Iino
  • Format: Black & White, Letterboxed, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: Japanese (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Image Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: March 18, 1998
  • Run Time: 123 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00000FYQO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #496,884 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Black Rain" on IMDb

Special Features

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Editorial Reviews

A Cannes Film Festival award winner, "Black Rain" is an unforgettable movie about humanity and survival after the 1945 atomic catastrophe that changed the world forever. Stunning photography vividly details the horror of ravaged Hiroshima, while its shocked survivors struggle with radiation sickness as they rebuild their shattered lives.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A MASTERPIECE April 23, 1999
Format:DVD
BLACK RAIN is the only movie of director Shohei Imamura that can be found in the DVD standard. It's a pity since this director is still one of the most interesting japanese directors even if he's now 72 years old. Winner of two Cannes Palmes d'Or ith THE EEL and THE BALLAD OF NARAYAMA, he isn't properly speaking a newcomer but his work deserves to be known by a wider audience.
The black rain is the name Japanese people have given to the rain that fell on Hiroshima right after the nuclear bombing of this island. Black and deadly. The movie, shot in black and white, tells the story of a couple of survivors and their struggle to stay alive and be part of the new japanese society born after the emperor's surrender.
One could say that BLACK RAIN's rythm is slow but I think it's a courageous choice of Shohei Imamura in order that we feel the fear of these people waiting their whole life for the first signs of the inevitable diseases provoked by radioactivity. In between, they try to survive like Yasuko, the heroin, whose search for a husband is pathetic.
Two scenes will stay in your memory. Firstly, the description of Hiroshima in comparison of which those horror movies Hollywood produces by the dozen seem, for the least, ridiculous. And this scene when Yasuko, filled with hope, waits for a shining rainbow, symbolizing life. You wait with her, with all your heart, until you remember that this film is shot in black and white. Simply magistral.
A scene access as sole extra-feature.
A DVD for your library.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A prayer for peace and tolerance March 4, 2000
By A Customer
Format:DVD
This is a wonderful black and white film by one of Japan's foremost Directors, Shohei Imamura. The film also features the outstanding music of Japan's foremost modern composer, Toru Takemitsu. He also provided the score for Hiroshi Teshigahara's classic, "Woman In the Dunes".
"Black Rain" explores a difficult subject, the bombing of Hiroshima, but does it not by assigning blame for the bombing. Rather Imamura depicts the intollerance of humanity that leads to all wars and their equally terrible aftermath. The characters in the film, all very well acted, are dealing with radiation illness and their positions as new social outcasts in postwar Japan. Perhaps one of the most moving scenes is that of the three Buddhist prayers or "sutras" for Hiroshima's dead chanted by a layman in the absence of the clergy. Indeed the film is one long prayer for peace and tolerance.
The quality of this DVD is acceptable but it seems a shame that Fox Lorber does not seem inclined, with this or many other of their DVDs, to provide any bonus materials.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
By Jacqui
Format:VHS Tape
Immamura's tour de force about a girl and her blood relatives' attempt to go on with life after surviving the August '45 bombing. While the film has been described as "restrained", it is also possible to receive the film as an incredibly eruptive effort: one that portrays its characters *always* on the verge of breaking down -- both physically and mentally -- from the wholly destructive and lingering effects of the bombs. While the ending escalates to full-blown helplessness (by using a self-reflexive comment about the limits of black and white film), the acting is an absolute success, particularly by the girl and the carver that loves her.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't judge what you haven't seen October 17, 2004
By T. Tan
Format:DVD
This goes to "Margo Lopez" and "Jenni Garcia Mariposa", who are both probably the same person trying to pose as two Latin-American bimbos from different locales. Neither one (if they are really two) have actually seen the film, and are judging a book by its cover. "Mariposa" voiced the same tune for the book "Black Rain (Japan's Modern Writers S.)" by Masuji Ibuse (click on "her" name for more info). In total, that's 3 "reviews" from two usernames. It's as if that's all they are here for. Neither one wrote anything else since.

The film NEVER blamed the Americans even though they dropped the atomic bomb. In fact, the Japanese implied self-blame for what had happened - their government perpetrated the war, and the civilians suffered because of it. But you wouldn't know that unless you have seen the film.

The characters could have been anyone of us: the uncle who can't work as hard as he used to because he is ill, the niece who has trouble finding a suitable partner because of exaggerated rumors, the aunt tries to hold her family together, the war veteran whose experiences of war keeps haunting him and drive him crazy, and the superfical manner in which the people approach a national tragedy. You can find a lot of similar situations in your own country's history, unless you're igonorant of it.

Imamura's masterpiece deserves a perfect 10 from me. The fact that it can get a coward to pose as two "chicks" is a testament to the power of the film (subject matter). That and "any publicity is good publicity".
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:DVD
This film is the first one that I know of that deals with other lesser known aspects of the atomic explosion of Hiroshima. The storey is about a young Japanese girl who was on the outskirts of the city when it was destroyed by an atomic bomb.She witnesses the horror and devastation as she and her family try to reach there Father's factory that is on the other side of town.She takes a boat ride across the bay when it starts raining black ash.That is just the begining of the film and the rest chronicles her life as she struggles to find a husband while under the suspicion that she was contaminated by the blast. When I think of the tragedy of Hiroshima I've always thought of its victims as being instantly vaporized at the moment of explosion.What this film tries to show is that for some victims there pain and suffering would last an entire lifetime. This film is a sublime masterpiece.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Could be disturbing for some
Published 13 days ago by EastCoastAl
5.0 out of 5 stars Shows things as they really were
This is a fantastic film from 1989 that shows the physical effects of the bomb on Hiroshima, and how the radiation poisoning from the bomb was still killing people years later. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Sarah Marie
5.0 out of 5 stars Black Rain
A powerful look at the realization of the aftermath of the all-destructive Atom Bomb. Meant for good purposes - energy, it had disastrous effects on the people of Japan. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Jeanette LaVoy
5.0 out of 5 stars Learning something new.
I never knew just how bad the long term effects were. The people that survived were treated like outcasts because they weren't expected to live. Read more
Published 13 months ago by tony plew
4.0 out of 5 stars CHOSEN ENDING JUST OK
This is a good movie. However, an alternate ending is included, and it is much better, in my opinion, that the one chosen for distribution. Read more
Published 16 months ago by J. Ferguson
5.0 out of 5 stars A Film That All Should See
This film has been described by many as a masterpiece and indeed it is. The film is shot in black and white and difficult subjects are delicately handled. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Builder Lady
5.0 out of 5 stars For all Tarkovski lovers
This is, and I say this for all Greek/Eastern Orthodox Tarkovsky devotees out there, the most Eastern Orthodox film I've ever seen, if we take in consideration its unreleased 19... Read more
Published on March 15, 2012 by republic of letters
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful and disturbing
"Black Rain" is a beautiful piece of art, but it's very hard to watch. I could only get through the first hour by viewing it in 15-minute chunks. Read more
Published on October 3, 2011 by Little Roy Blue
5.0 out of 5 stars buny-in-the-headlights
WOW. this one had me glued to my seat for its' entirety. the horror of war and the impact it has on civilians is demonstrated vividly in this movie. Read more
Published on September 8, 2011 by buny-in-the-headlights
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic film
This film definitely informs you that not all Japs are Kamakazees. It's a great film about the Hiroshima atomic bomb from a civilian's point of view. Read more
Published on May 12, 2011 by D. C. M. Smart
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