I Live in Fear
|I Live in Fear|
|Directed by||Akira Kurosawa|
|Produced by||Sojiro Motoki|
|Written by||Akira Kurosawa
|Music by||Masaru Sato
|Distributed by||Toho Company Ltd.|
I Live In Fear (生きものの記録 Ikimono no kiroku?, aka Record of a Living Being or What the Birds Knew) is a 1955 Japanese film written and directed by Akira Kurosawa. It was co-written by Shinobu Hashimoto, Fumio Hayasaka, and Hideo Oguni. The story concerned an elderly factory owner (Toshiro Mifune) so terrified of the prospect of a nuclear attack that he becomes determined to move his entire extended family (both legal and extra-marital) to what he imagines is the safety of a farm in Brazil.
- Toshirō Mifune as Kiichi Nakajima
- Takashi Shimura as Dr. Harada
- Minoru Chiaki as Jiro Nakajima
- Eiko Miyoshi as Toyo Nakajima
- Kyoko Aoyama as Sue Nakajima
- Haruko Togo as Yoki Nakajima
- Noriko Sengoku as Kimie Nakajima
- Akemi Negishi as Asako Kuribayashi
- Hiroshi Tachikawa as Ryoichi Sayama
- Kichijirō Ueda as Mr. Kuribayashi's father
- Eijirō Tōno as Old man from Brazil
- Yutaka Sada as Ichiro Nakajima
- Kamatari Fujiwara as Okamoto
- Ken Mitsuda as Judge Araki
- Masao Shimizu as Yamazaki, Yoshi's husband
Kiichi Nakajima (Toshirō Mifune), an elderly foundry owner convinced that Japan will be affected by an imminent nuclear war, resolves to move his family to safety in Brazil. Nakajima's fervent wish is for his family to join him in escaping from Japan to the relative safety of South America. His family decides to have him ruled incompetent and Dr. Harada (Takashi Shimura), a Domestic Court counselor, attempts to arbitrate. Harada, a civil volunteer in the case, sympathizes with Nakajima's conviction, but the old man's irrational behavior prevents the court from taking his fears seriously.
One of the final film of this period in which Akira Kurosawa would directly address the fear of nuclear holocaust and the implications of the atom bomb. The director shows the Japanese society coming out from under that threat and World War II, but still terrorized by memories of the past and anxieties for the future. Even though it had been ten years since the U.S. military had dropped the atom bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August of 1945, Japanese filmmakers had avoided the subject in studio features for years. Recent events, however, such as the nuclear testing in Bikini Atoll which exposed Japanese fishermen to fallout and the radioactive rain that fell on northern provinces, compelled Kurosawa to make this powerful film.
This was the last film that composer Fumio Hayasaka worked on before dying of tuberculosis in 1955. He had been Kurosawa's close friend since 1948 and had collaborated with him on several films.
- "Festival de Cannes: I Live in Fear". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 2009-02-03.
- Kaplan, Fred (2008-01-29). "I Live in Fear: What Kurosawa's forgotten film about the bomb captures about post-9/11 America". Slate.
- I Live in Fear at Rotten Tomatoes
- I Live in Fear at the Internet Movie Database
- I Live in Fear (Japanese) at the Japanese Movie Database
- I Live in Fear at AllMovie