Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB
Original title: Kuroi Ame
Japan, 1989. Hayashibara Group, Imamura Productions, Tohokushinsha Film Corporation. Screenplay by Shohei Imamura, Toshiro Ishido, based on the novel by Masuji Ibuse.Cinematography by Takashi Kawamata. Produced by Hisashi Iino. Music by Toru Takemitsu. Production Design by Hisao Inagaki. Costume Design by Hidefumi Sueyoshi. Film Editing by Hajime Okayasu.
Arresting and unforgettable exploration of the devastation of Hiroshima, as young Yukiko comes to stay with her relatives a few years after they survived the dropping of the bomb.
In the aftermath of nuclear war, villagers create marriage prospects for their younger generations with the constant worry that they might be suffering radiation sickness. Yukiko is one such case who is possibly ill, which would mean bad news for her chances at marrying.
Between scenes of paranoia and gossip are interspersed fascinating, beautifully achieved flashback sequences that capture the bombing and subsequent survival.
This is not the experimental poetry of Hiroshima, Mon Amour, as director Shohei Imamura is perfectly incapable, as usual, of pulling punches on anything he considers a fact of human existence (here, violence and illness, elsewhere sexuality, etc).
Cannes Film Festival: In Competition