Kurosawa's Madadayo


No swords, no mud, no sweeping canvas, no thrusting action. The 31st and final film by world cinema’s grandmaster of action movie-making seems to belong to someone else. Akira Kurosawa’s sign-off follows the last two decades in the life of a retired teacher who is worshipped by his students. Every year, they organise a birthday party at which he downs a giant mug of beer and cries out, “Madadayo!” Translation? “Not yet!” Lensed with patient serenity (as if the 83-year-old Kurosawa, like so many, had finally turned to the style of Yasujiro Ozu), little else happens in this most minor, most personal of films about affection and aging. The sentimentality is so warm it drips and its autobiographical nature is unashamed. But the heartbreak is that at more than two hours, Madadayo seems reluctant to end. Released five years before the director’s death, Kurosawa himself wasn’t ready to let the screen go black. Not yet...


Film Details

  • 12
  • UK Theatrical Release Date: September 18th 2007

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