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Rhapsody in August (1991)

Cast: Richard Gere, Richard Gere, Sachiko Murase, more...
Director: Akira Kurosawa, Akira Kurosawa
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Studio: MGM
Genre: Drama, Foreign, Japan
Running Time: 98 min.
Languages: Japanese
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
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Master filmmaker Akira Kurosawa follows up on his phantasmorgic Dreams with this delicate tale about war and memory. The film centers on Kane (Sachiko Murase) a grandmother who lives on her traditional farm in the hills near Nagasaki. Her husband and a number of siblings died in the 1945 atomic bombing of the city and memories of that event are never far from her mind. She learns that her elder brother, who went to Hawaii to seek his fortune in pineapples, is on his deathbed and would very much like to see his sister one last time. Her half-American nephew Clark (played by none other than Richard Gere) is venturing to Nagasaki to escort her to Hawaii. Though the prospect of meeting a real live American excites Kane's four grandchildren who are staying with her for the summer and who often sport American college T-shirts, Kane remains ambivalent both about the prospects of going to the States, and about the dark memories Clark's presence dredges up. ~ Jonathan Crow, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

the same (Hi-)story again by obonin November 19, 2005 - 1:02 AM PST
5 out of 6 members found this review helpful
When I saw this movie, I remembered Louis-Ferdinand Celine's book, "Journey to the End of the Night", a anti-war book. Reading reviews about the movie, listening to what people in the US had to say, seeing the reaction of the american media to this movie, I was sad, simply sad. This movie is not about Japan, it's not about America, it could have been anywhere a war had happened.

This movie is a poem against war and the scars it leaves forever deep in the mind of the people who suffered those wars. Those who didn't suffer a war are lucky, and shouldn't be blamed for being this lucky, but they should see movies like this to understand what war is about. The world is never better after war. The first ones to agree to settle things through warfare are the ones who didn't suffer war. There are no winners in a war, just remember.

I'm sorry that all those who felt attacked in their pride as Americans are missing the point of this movie. If your father or your grandfather, or your friend has been to war, just listen to them.

The performance of the grandmother and the kids will make you forget you're watching a movie! It is filmed simply and un-pretentiously, though is a very emotional film.


PS: Oh and I'm not Japanese...

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.95)
58 Votes
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Don't Even Talk To Me . . .
. . . until you've seen these movies. You don't have to like these movies, you may even hate them, but you must at least see them before you die.
Akira Kurosawa

Coming soon: Seven Samurai 3-Disc SE, remasters of Sanjuro and Yojimbo. Wish list: Criterion editions of Dodes'ka-den, The Idiot, I Live in Fear, and Scandal, and an anamorphic remaster of High and Low.

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