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6 December 2015: I Live in Fear


I Live in Fear
Akira Kurosawa
1955 | 103 min | B/W | 35mm  

When a wealthy foundry owner decides to move his entire family from Tokyo to Brazil to escape the nuclear holocaust which he fears is imminent, his family, afraid of losing their status and inheritance, tries to have him declared mentally incompetent. Made at the height of the Cold War, with the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki still a recent memory, and with the USA, Britain and the Soviet Union all competing in nuclear tests, this blazing attack on complacency stemmed from the same H-Bomb paranoia that gave birth to the Godzilla films.  

"The turn-out for this film was very bad, few people came, and it was my biggest box-office failure. After having put so much of myself into this film, after having seriously treated a serious theme, this lack of interest disappointed me. When I think of it, however, I see now that we made the film too soon. At that time no one was thinking seriously of atomic extinction. It was only later that people got frightened, and that a number of films on the subject appeared, among them On the Beach." – Akira Kurosawa

Part of our Akira Kurosawa season