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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.
"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.
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".
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A moving work on the devastating effects of the atomic bomb on average families and individuals. A universal tale about radical evil rooted in everyday life.Published 7 months ago by Pierre Taminiaux
KUROI AME (BLACK RAIN). Very Grim And Fairly Predictable
Rating = ***
Director: Shohei Imamura
Producers: Hisao Iino et al. Read more
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 morePublished on November 15, 2013 by Sarah Marie
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 morePublished on November 14, 2013 by Jeanette LaVoy
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 morePublished on September 11, 2013 by tony plew
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 morePublished on June 5, 2013 by J. Ferguson
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 morePublished on May 5, 2013 by Builder Lady