Black Rain


(out of 5)

Original title:  Kuroi Ame

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).

Hayashibara Group, Imamura Productions, Tohokushinsha Film Corporation

Japan, 1989

Directed by

Screenplay by Shohei Imamura, , based on the novel by

Cinematography by

Produced by

Music by

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by

Cannes Film Festival 1989

Independent Spirit Awards 1990.

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