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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Human impact and aftermath of the bomb, 7 Aug 2010
This review is from: Black Rain [DVD] [1989] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
The family of a young woman find it difficult to find her a suitor in post war Japan as she is suspected of suffering from Radiation Sickness when she was exposed to the black rain that fell shortly after the explosion of the Atomic bomb at Hiroshima.

An award winning film that looks at the aftermath and long term effects of the atom bomb. A human story not just about the destruction of a city but of the lives of survivors, their relationships, families, communities and their bodies. The director avoids sensationalism and maintains restraint thereby increasing the impact of the film
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hibakusha, 13 Dec 2009
technoguy "jack" (Rugby) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Black Rain [DVD] [1989] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
Imamura adapted Black Rain from the novel by Masuji Ibuse.The film is about the moment when the atom bomb dropped on Hiroshima and the period of its aftermath.Yasuko(Yoshiko Tanaka) is a young woman living with her uncle Shigeko and her aunt Shigematsu.There are a few moments before it drops(we know what's to come)when everyday life assumes an eternal intensity,even a stray dog.We see people in a tram car blown across the tram at zero hour.These early scenes are stark,direct, difficult to watch and unforgettable.We see flesh melting off a man's bones,the tiny charred corpse clutched by a mother.Mr and Mrs Shizumo and their neice make their way through the ruins of Hiroshima devastated by the atomic bomb.The black rain that drops on Yasuko's face(ash+radiation+rain) is thought to bear no harm.Her uncle's face is burned.They all think because they did not witness the flash emitted directly, they may be alright.The film moves to 5 years later.Yasuko is living with her aunt, uncle, and senile grandmother in a village containing many survivors of the bombing.We are in the slow-take still-frame setting of an Ozu-like existence with Yasuko's aunt and uncle getting on with their lives,trying to marry her off.They wait under the dread that the radiation sickness affecting so many survivors will claim them too.She wants to remain with them. Yasuko does not appear to be affected,her uncle even uses her diary to get her a cleared medical certificate to show her prospective suitors.Many of their old acquaintances are dropping.They attend funerals, consult astrologers, chant mantras,life goes on.There are rumours that Yasuko was near ground zero,she even mentions her fear to a suitor that she may succumb at any time to radiation sickness.A dying man wants to understand why the bomb was ever dropped.There is broadcast that the Americans may use it in N.Korea.There are moments of unrelieved gloom and terror.Imamura's subject is not about who dropped the bomb,but his anger at the terrible economic, social,biological,and traumatic effects on Japanese society,the discrimination,the prejudice,the lack of understanding,the fear that it was hereditary and contagious.There are moments of great beauty especially towards the end where a never-before-seen great carp of legend jumps out of a pond with great vitality,showing the resilience of the spirit.I have not seen any of his other films but have heard of their bawdiness and colour.The
dvd package contains an alternate colour ending,interviews with an assitant director and actress Tanaka,trailers,
cast and crew biographies,multimedia vault,image gallery,program notes,American anti-Japanese propaganda films.
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Black Rain [DVD] [1989] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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