To Live

 In A thought, Reviews

Since 4381 is a dictatorship (joke) and lord Houk has struck down the notion of watching Ikiru together (not joke) . I decided to watch it in secret on my own.


I don’t want to say too much about the movie but I will say that it is a must-watch.

I think we all have interesting scales or templates for rating movies in our heads. For some it’s “Sweet it had two explosions and three hot babes. That’s an easy 10/10” for other’s it may be more complex. I probably speak for the majority of young film lovers when I say that I don’t completely understand why I like most of the movies I like. But that’s ok. That’s why we watch and study them. To understand ourselves, and others. One thing I am confident about is when I say a movie is a “must-watch”.

There are movies out there that I’ll give a “it was good” or “you gotta see it, it’s so beautiful” or maybe “ehh its fun, cheesy though”. When I give those ratings, most of the time I have no idea what I’m talking about and none of them compare to the “must-watch” level. But when I give it the “must watch” rating, that’s a level of art and creation to me that I feel changes peoples whole perspective on life and creation.


Ikiru will allow you to reflect on how you spend your time and what it means to put effort into the things that you focus on throughout your life.

I’m excited to talk and dive deeper into what this movie means to others and to myself. If you have any thoughts on what this movie means to you, please let me know and I’d love to hear it!


Also, 2001 is a must-watch. If you disagree that’s fine but you’re wrong. You don’t have to like it, but you have to watch it.

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  • KRH

    Not a dictatorship in the true sense of the word. Also, I did not forbid the watching of Ikiru. It is an amazing film and I agree with your assessment. I just didn’t want you to lock into only one director or limit yourselves in this Covid time of group film watching.

  • Kelvin Kataria

    Something I’ve always admired about Ikiru is how Mr. Watanabe put so much effort to make a change. To not be tied down by complacency which his field encourages. It treats change as an exception which in many ways is true. Change in the film is very akin to our own, it’s rare and is presented as a major risk and even social or career suicide.

    His diagnosis is the turning point of his life. It’s not him realizing he has nothing to lose, it’s him realizing that throughout his whole life he has nothing to live for. His desperation to seek what makes life meaningful seems so complex to him until he finds it in a simple explanation in the form of a small toy. When having dinner with the young girl she reveals her secret “I have fun making these toys.” he doesn’t understand until she says “Maybe you should make something”.

    He falls into his usual pit of despair.
    “What can I possibly do… It’s too late for any of that”
    But finally, an epiphany, seemingly out of nowhere, as if he willed the motivation.

    The funeral scene is filled with so much exploitation, characters with hearts that know nothing but manipulation and much like our own world, their voices are the loudest. “The fact that people think one man could do any of this? Idiotic”

    But one moment, with no dialogue, says more than the sullied words of the corrupt officials. The tears of the residents who felt his impact. The mourning felt through the loss of an extraordinary individual is enough to validate his efforts and show a light in the darkness.

    But Kurosawa has a way of bringing us back to the real world. The denial of Mr. Watanabe’s conviction at his own wake, all the other departments trying to take credit, and the one voice on his side struggling to be heard. Even when those attending his wake realize Mr. Watanabe’s courage and promise to adopt it as their own, it leads nowhere. Their newfound enthusiasm has gone as if it never occurred.

    It makes Mr. Watanabe’s literal swan song sound like a rare melody, a melody of will, a willingness based on compassion. Watanabe embraced death because he had accomplished his goal to feel alive. Despite his coworkers and bureaucracy’s unwillingness to change, I think Kurosawa left a hopeful note at the end of the film. The children playing in the park screams louder, touches a part of your soul that even the monotony of bureaucracy can’t take away. The guardian angel of the Kuroe watches over from above. The dedication of one man to make a change, even if it’s just a single change among the countless problems that riddle our world can make our hopeless environment filed with sewage, garbage, and debris to a garden of inspiration for future generations.

    I hope we find this conviction in our lives. Wherever we end up in life I hope the rules set in place will never corrupt our spirit and make us complacent. I hope wherever I end up I can create a difference like Mr. Watanabe and stand up to adversity. When I face an immovable object I hope to continue to push, to stay dedicated towards progress and change.

    I realized a long time ago that if I lose this sense of living, my dedication which I hope to one day compare to Mr. Watanabe’s, well that’s a fate worse than death.

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