The Ballad Of Narayama

  • 1983
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Drama

A remarkable picture based on the award-winning stories by Fakazawa and previously filmed in 1958 under the same title. The story takes place in a 19th century Japanese village plagued by famine. In order to ration food, the village has ritualized the killing of redundant members of the community: newborn males are murdered, while the elderly are carried...read more

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A remarkable picture based on the award-winning stories by Fakazawa and previously filmed in 1958 under the same title. The story takes place in a 19th century Japanese village plagued by famine. In order to ration food, the village has ritualized the killing of redundant members of the

community: newborn males are murdered, while the elderly are carried by their children to the top of Mount Narayama and left to die. Orin (Sakamoto) is a 69-year-old woman thus scheduled for extinction; her son (Ogata) is reluctant to carry out the ritual, but the mother, bound to tradition, is

adamant. After finding wives for her children, she begins the arduous journey up the mountain, strapped to her son's back.

In deliberate contrast to the dreamy original, this remake is joltingly realistic. Director Imamura (THE PORNOGRAPHERS), who began as an assistant to Yasujiro Ozu, has a well-known flair for urban low-life; here, he turns to rural brutishness with equally striking results. The film revels in the

indecorous (dead babies and a ritual gang-bang are highlights), but everything is rendered with a visual beauty that is probably intentionally incongruous. Winner of the Golden Palm at the 1983 Cannes festival.

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  • Released: 1983
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: A remarkable picture based on the award-winning stories by Fakazawa and previously filmed in 1958 under the same title. The story takes place in a 19th century Japanese village plagued by famine. In order to ration food, the village has ritualized the kill… (more)

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