The Ballad of Narayama
The Ballad of Narayama (1984)

This film is based on Shichiro Fukazawa's novel and is set in the 19th century in a severely impoverished mountain village in northern Japan. In this fictional society, once the elderly have reached the age of 70 they are brought up… More

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: September 7, 1984
DVD Release Date: June 10, 2008
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Critic Score: 100% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader

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.

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Tim Brayton
Antagony & Ecstasy

A masterpiece of the human condition...[but] below the very peak of Imamura's filmmaking powers.

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Zach Campbell
Slant Magazine

However you slice up postwar Japanese cinema, Shohei Imamura is one of its premiere figures.

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Anton Bitel
Projected Figures

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.

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Don Willmott

a remarkable comedy/drama that lives up to that overused adjective: haunting

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Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Spirituality and Practice

Presents a wild, realistic and raw portrait of life in a small Japanese mountain village one hundred years ago

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Gabe Leibowitz
Film and Felt

A good movie that could have been truly great

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Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Grippingly told tale.

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Jeremy Heilman

The Ballad of Naramaya is an indelible and transfixing poem of a movie that packs a substantial and complicated emotional punch.

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More reviews for The Ballad of Narayama

Flixster Audience Score: 87% Flixster User Reviews
Lucas Martins
Shohei Imamura present a great tale, the struggle of a mother to accomplish all the necessity of your family, before her death. With the perfect direction, and… More
Walter M.
[font=Century Gothic]"The Ballad of Narayama" is an earthy and heavily symbolic movie with a hint of the supernatural about a peasant village, barely… More
Saskia D.
This movie was a treat!! It has everything: humor, drama, great characters and a beautiful story. It's situated in a peasant village, where everybody has… More
Stella Dallas
the film recreates a remote mountain village in 19th century japan where famine is always lurking. it's a harsh world where infants are commonly discarded… More