Black Rain (1989 Japanese film)
|Directed by||Shohei Imamura|
|Produced by||Hisa Iino|
|Written by||Ibuse Masuji (story)
|Music by||Toru Takemitsu|
|Edited by||Hajime Okayasu|
|Distributed by||Hayashibara Group
Tohokushinsha Film Co
Black Rain (黒い雨 Kuroi ame) is a 1989 Japanese film by director Shohei Imamura and based on the novel of the same name by Ibuse Masuji. The events are centered on the aftermath of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.
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The film moves between Shizuma Shigematsu's journal entries about Hiroshima in 1945, following the dropping of the atomic bomb, and the present, 1950, when Shigematsu and his wife Shigeko are the guardians for their niece Yasuko and charged with finding her a husband (she has been declined three times due to concerns over her having been in the "black rain" fallout). As the story progresses, Shigematsu sees more and more fellow hibakusha, his friends and family, succumbing to radiation sickness and Yasuko's prospects for marriage become more and more unlikely, as she forms a bond with a poor man named Yuichi, who carves jizo and suffers a form of post-traumatic stress disorder where he attacks passing motor vehicles as "tanks."
- Yoshiko Tanaka as Yasuko
- Kazuo Kitamura as Shigematsu Shizuma
- Etsuko Ichihara as Shigeko Shizuma
- Shoichi Ozawa as Shokichi
- Norihei Miki as Kotaro
- Keisuke Ishida as Yuichi
- Hisako Hara as Kin
- Masato Yamada as Tatsu
- Taiji Tonoyama
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Aside from its compassionate treatment of the hibakusha, who were often shunned by their fellow Japanese, this film is remarkable for its terrifying re-creation of the Hiroshima atomic bombing and its immediate aftermath. Its scenes of horribly burned survivors of the explosion, their flesh seared or flayed by the heat, struggling to escape from under collapsed buildings or find cooling water in which to immerse themselves, often dying in the streams once they find them, are unforgettable.
- Japanese Academy Awards 1990: Best Actress, Best Cinematography, Best Director, Best Editing, Best Film, Best Lighting, Best Music Score, Best Screenplay, Best Supporting Actress
- Blue Ribbon Award 1990: Best Actress
- Cannes Film Festival 1989: Prize of the Ecumenical Jury - Special Mention, Technical Grand Prize
- Flanders International Film Festival Ghent 1989: Georges Delerue Prize, Golden Spur
- Hochi Film Awards 1989: Best Actress
- Kinema Junpo Award 1990: Best Actress, Best Director, Best Film
- Mainichi Film Concours 1990: Best Actress, Best Art Direction, Best Film
- Sant Jordi Awards 1991: Best Foreign Film
- Japanese Academy Awards 1990: Best Art Direction, Best Sound
- Belgian Syndicate of Cinema Critics 1990: Grand Prix
- Cannes Film Festival 1989: Palme d'Or
- Independent Spirit Awards 1991: Best Foreign Film
- Tachibana, Reiko (November 8, 1998). "Seeing Between the Lines: Imamura Shohei's Kuroi Ame (Black Rain)". Literature Film Quarterly. Archived from the original on 2008-06-18. Retrieved 2008-11-08.
- "Festival de Cannes: Black Rain". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 2009-08-01.
- An academic comparative study of Black Rain (American film) and Black Rain (Japanese film), entitled "Nuclear Bomb Films in Japan and America: Two Black Rain Films" by Yoko Ima-Izumi included in Essays on British and American Literature and Culture: From Perspectives of Transpacific American Studies edited by Tatsushi Narita (Nagoya: Kougaku Shuppan, 2007).