Narayama bushiko (Ballad of Narayama)
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Narayama bushiko (Ballad of Narayama)
In this second, award-winning interpretation of a novel by Shichiro Fukazawa, director Shohei Imamura has inserted some scenes of violence and ritual sex that are shocking and were absent in the first, 1958 film. The story is set in the 19th century in a remote and severely impoverished mountain village in northern Japan. In this fictional society, once the elderly have reached the age of 70 they are brought up Mount Nara, where ancient gods reside, and left to die hopefully blessed by the deities -- this sacrifice will free up food for someone else in the village. Orin (Sumiko Sakamoto) is a… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Imamura's rough sexual humor is still in evidence, but now it has taken on a dark tone: to make love is to flirt with death."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"A masterpiece of the human condition...[but] below the very peak of Imamura's filmmaking powers."
‑ Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy
"However you slice up postwar Japanese cinema, Shohei Imamura is one of its premiere figures."
‑ Zach Campbell, Slant Magazine
"in this hermetic world... Imamura captures a truly universal, all-encompassing experience, showing the transmission of virtues and vices from one generation to the next in the service of life's tenacious continuity."
‑ Anton Bitel, Little White Lies
"a remarkable comedy/drama that lives up to that overused adjective: haunting"
‑ Don Willmott,
"Presents a wild, realistic and raw portrait of life in a small Japanese mountain village one hundred years ago"
‑ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
"A good movie that could have been truly great"
‑ Gabe Leibowitz, Film and Felt
"Grippingly told tale."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"The Ballad of Naramaya is an indelible and transfixing poem of a movie that packs a substantial and complicated emotional punch."
‑ Jeremy Heilman,
More reviews for Narayama bushiko (Ballad of Narayama) on Rotten Tomatoes