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Black Rain

Etsuko Ichihara , Keisuke Ishida , Shohei Imamura    Unrated   DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 30.99
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Product Description

Mr. and Mrs. Shizuma and their niece Yasuko make their way through the ruins of Hiroshima, devastated by the atomic bomb. Five years later, Yasuko is living with her aunt and uncle, and her senile grandmother, in a village containing many survivors of the bombing. Yasuko does not appear to be affected, but the Shizumas are worried about her marriage prospects, fearing that she might succumb to radiation sickness at any time.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Black Rain June 5 2004
By A Customer
Format:DVD
Any attack on civillians during war is intolerable. This movie teaches that we should have empathy for those civillians - empathy being Anti-American apparently.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "American heroes"?!? June 27 2004
Format:DVD
A very "heroic" moment in American, or for that matter, world, history--dropping an atomic bomb on a city of 350,000 men, women and children (then, again, 3 days later over a church in Nagsaki)! All of this talk of "heroes" is ridiculous. There are no heroes in war. There is just death. Anyone who has been in war or seen it firsthand will tell you that. Watch this film, read the book (which is quite different from Imamura's breathtaking film), and contemplate what the US has unleashed in the world: the possibility of nuclear destruction of not one city or country, but the entire planet. Hiroshima and Nagasaki are America's guilty conscience. It is well past time for its citizens to take a look at the costs of warfare and imperialism in the Nuclear Age; not to look away, cowardly, or spout some nonsense about "heroes". This film, and the book upon which it is based, is NOT a re-writing of "history". It IS history. A history that Americans are NOT taught. A history that we are too brainwashed to even give a fair hearing. Lopez, Mariposa, etc., you make me ashamed to be an American.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mariposa, et al, is a MORON! June 27 2004
By A Customer
Format:DVD
Mariposa, you are a moron, plain and simple. You are not a "patriot", but a fascist pig. The US dropped atomic bombs on two civilian targets, during rush hour in Hiroshima's case, no where near a military target (but in the center of the city) and hundreds of thousands (contemplate this for a moment, if you can) of lives were lost--murder of genocidal proportions. Hundreds of thousands (again, can you imagine a number that high, you fascist?) of innocent lives were ruined forever... left to die painful deaths from radiation sickness. The Imperial Japanese Army, etc., committed countless atrocities and that is not to be deined--however, to take the easy way out, as Mariposa and her ilk have since 1945, and avoid thinking about the REALITY of what happened in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, or to conflate the crimes of one military machine with another ("they started the war" so "we" were "justified" in "ending it" by nuclear genocide) is simply unacceptable. Mariposa and other Floridian inbreds, why don't you work on fixing your electoral system so we don't have another right wing coup d'etat this November, instead of writing idiotic "reviews" of literature or film? You and your kind are such wonderful "patriots", as you put it--why don't you volunteer and head to Iraq to fight Bush's OIL WAR? You moron! Wake up, America, and take a look at the human cost of EMPIRE! (before it is too late...)
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1 of 22 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Anti American Lies May 2 2004
Format:DVD
We all seem to forget that had Japan not bombed our heros at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, we would not have dropped the bomb. The director (and before that the Author) seem to be trying to rewrite history by playing on the sympathy of the viewers which is just wrong given the facts of the event. The "victims" portrayed in the film are recieving their just desserts for supporting an evil government. I hope any American who is subjected to this pack of lies remebers our fallen heros.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  37 reviews
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A MASTERPIECE April 23 1999
By Daniel S. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
BLACK RAIN is the only movie of director Shohei Imamura that can be found in the DVD standard. It's a pity since this director is still one of the most interesting japanese directors even if he's now 72 years old. Winner of two Cannes Palmes d'Or ith THE EEL and THE BALLAD OF NARAYAMA, he isn't properly speaking a newcomer but his work deserves to be known by a wider audience.
The black rain is the name Japanese people have given to the rain that fell on Hiroshima right after the nuclear bombing of this island. Black and deadly. The movie, shot in black and white, tells the story of a couple of survivors and their struggle to stay alive and be part of the new japanese society born after the emperor's surrender.
One could say that BLACK RAIN's rythm is slow but I think it's a courageous choice of Shohei Imamura in order that we feel the fear of these people waiting their whole life for the first signs of the inevitable diseases provoked by radioactivity. In between, they try to survive like Yasuko, the heroin, whose search for a husband is pathetic.
Two scenes will stay in your memory. Firstly, the description of Hiroshima in comparison of which those horror movies Hollywood produces by the dozen seem, for the least, ridiculous. And this scene when Yasuko, filled with hope, waits for a shining rainbow, symbolizing life. You wait with her, with all your heart, until you remember that this film is shot in black and white. Simply magistral.
A scene access as sole extra-feature.
A DVD for your library.
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A prayer for peace and tolerance March 4 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
This is a wonderful black and white film by one of Japan's foremost Directors, Shohei Imamura. The film also features the outstanding music of Japan's foremost modern composer, Toru Takemitsu. He also provided the score for Hiroshi Teshigahara's classic, "Woman In the Dunes".
"Black Rain" explores a difficult subject, the bombing of Hiroshima, but does it not by assigning blame for the bombing. Rather Imamura depicts the intollerance of humanity that leads to all wars and their equally terrible aftermath. The characters in the film, all very well acted, are dealing with radiation illness and their positions as new social outcasts in postwar Japan. Perhaps one of the most moving scenes is that of the three Buddhist prayers or "sutras" for Hiroshima's dead chanted by a layman in the absence of the clergy. Indeed the film is one long prayer for peace and tolerance.
The quality of this DVD is acceptable but it seems a shame that Fox Lorber does not seem inclined, with this or many other of their DVDs, to provide any bonus materials.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life after the bombs: impressive/profound human interest May 22 1999
By Jacqui - Published on Amazon.com
Format:VHS Tape
Immamura's tour de force about a girl and her blood relatives' attempt to go on with life after surviving the August '45 bombing. While the film has been described as "restrained", it is also possible to receive the film as an incredibly eruptive effort: one that portrays its characters *always* on the verge of breaking down -- both physically and mentally -- from the wholly destructive and lingering effects of the bombs. While the ending escalates to full-blown helplessness (by using a self-reflexive comment about the limits of black and white film), the acting is an absolute success, particularly by the girl and the carver that loves her.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't judge what you haven't seen Oct. 17 2004
By T. Tan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
This goes to "Margo Lopez" and "Jenni Garcia Mariposa", who are both probably the same person trying to pose as two Latin-American bimbos from different locales. Neither one (if they are really two) have actually seen the film, and are judging a book by its cover. "Mariposa" voiced the same tune for the book "Black Rain (Japan's Modern Writers S.)" by Masuji Ibuse (click on "her" name for more info). In total, that's 3 "reviews" from two usernames. It's as if that's all they are here for. Neither one wrote anything else since.

The film NEVER blamed the Americans even though they dropped the atomic bomb. In fact, the Japanese implied self-blame for what had happened - their government perpetrated the war, and the civilians suffered because of it. But you wouldn't know that unless you have seen the film.

The characters could have been anyone of us: the uncle who can't work as hard as he used to because he is ill, the niece who has trouble finding a suitable partner because of exaggerated rumors, the aunt tries to hold her family together, the war veteran whose experiences of war keeps haunting him and drive him crazy, and the superfical manner in which the people approach a national tragedy. You can find a lot of similar situations in your own country's history, unless you're igonorant of it.

Imamura's masterpiece deserves a perfect 10 from me. The fact that it can get a coward to pose as two "chicks" is a testament to the power of the film (subject matter). That and "any publicity is good publicity".
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A moving tragedy about a young girl's life affected by war. March 2 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
This film is the first one that I know of that deals with other lesser known aspects of the atomic explosion of Hiroshima. The storey is about a young Japanese girl who was on the outskirts of the city when it was destroyed by an atomic bomb.She witnesses the horror and devastation as she and her family try to reach there Father's factory that is on the other side of town.She takes a boat ride across the bay when it starts raining black ash.That is just the begining of the film and the rest chronicles her life as she struggles to find a husband while under the suspicion that she was contaminated by the blast. When I think of the tragedy of Hiroshima I've always thought of its victims as being instantly vaporized at the moment of explosion.What this film tries to show is that for some victims there pain and suffering would last an entire lifetime. This film is a sublime masterpiece.
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