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Black Rain [Import]

3.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

Price: CDN$ 71.96
Only 5 left in stock.
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Product Details

  • Actors: Etsuko Ichihara, Keisuke Ishida, Kazuo Kitamura, Norihei Miki, Shoichi Ozawa
  • Directors: Shohei Imamura
  • Format: Black & White, DVD-Video, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen, Import
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Animeigo
  • Release Date: Oct. 20 2009
  • Run Time: 123 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B002FG9NAU
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Product Description


Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on June 5 2004
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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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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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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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 (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars 41 reviews
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kuroi Ame back on DVD Oct. 29 2009
By Patrick Yamada - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
When I first saw this film, I felt certain it must have been made in the 1950s. Realizing that Ichihara Etsuko couldn't have been that old in the 1950s had me confused, and I later found the film was shot in 1989. The director, Imamura Shohei, gave it the feel of an old film not only by shooting in black and white, but also by having the characters act in an old style. As a result the film draws the viewer in as if he were watching the story shortly after the war.

*Spoiler alert!*

Stop reading here if you don't want the plot revealed.

An ordinary day becomes a gruesome shock for young Yasuko as she makes her way through the city of Hiroshima on a hot August morning. A sudden flash and blast (pika-don) turn a daily routine into a confused nightmare. Commuters burn in street cars where they stand. Clocks stop. A boy is so scarred his own brother can't recognize him, nor can he remember his own name.

Yasuko's ordeal doesn't end even after she flees the flattened inferno of a city for the safety of the countryside. Yes, she apparently escaped without a scratch, but the fact radioactive black rain fell on her as she took a boat across the bay has prospective marriage prospects cautious. Could she also have the radiation sickness that is affecting so many others? Her uncle makes sure she gets a clean bill of health to show doubters she will make a good, healthy wife.

The most heart-stopping scene (don't worry, I won't ruin it by giving you the details) is when Yasuko discovers she does indeed have radiation sickness. Her chances for the good match her aunt and uncle envisioned disappear.

In the countryside of Fukuyama (east of Hiroshima City) reside others affected by the war. Among those with radiation sickness lives a former Imperial Army soldier tormented by memories of the harrowing missions he was ordered to undertake. Yasuko's compassion for him and her uncle's acceptance of her inability to marry well lead to the two war-damaged young people finding comfort in marriage together.

This is a micro view of the war and how it affected the film's subjects, so it is refreshingly free from political commentary. This is historical fiction, so enjoy the story.
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Please don't buy at this price!! Feb. 28 2007
By R Atherton - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I found a used DVD on eBay for $35. It wasn't worth it. The image is letterboxed, but so small that you have to blow it up to resolution-killing proportions. I also own the VHS and laserdisc of "Black Rain." The tape offers a MUCH better image. The laserdisc gives the best results of all. I am outraged at the prices being asked here. I really hope this great movie will be re-released with proper care, and that the people who want to rip you off will be left holding the bag.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last! It's on DVD! Nov. 19 2009
By Sue E. Cross - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I've waited awhile to get this film on DVD -- the old VHS version just doesn't do it justice. Take a deep breath, if you haven't seen it before. A serious film that should be on everyone's "to see" list.
1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hurray! Finally the dvd reissue! Aug. 1 2009
By Raymond G. Wilson - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Reviewed in earlier editions. Format has implied color but the only thing in color are the subtitles. Subtitles seem to have been rewritten. Here is YouTube trailer,
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars After the bomb was dropped, the rain fell Nov. 12 2009
By Zack Davisson - Published on
Format: DVD
After the initial explosion of the atomic bomb "Little Boy" over the city of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, the skies turned black and rain began to fall. This rain, black and muddy, was so welcome by the survivors of the blast that some people even opened their mouths to drink the previous water, completely unaware that a new kind of death was falling from the sky. What the Japanese referred to as "kuroi ame," black rain, we know now as nuclear fallout.

"Black Rain" (Japanese title "Kuroi Ame") is an adaptation of the 1965 book of the same title by Masuji Ibuse, following the lives of a small family who were affected by the radiation poisoning following the atomic blast. One man, Shigematsu Shizuma (Kitamura Kazuo, Japan's Longest Day), was directly affected by the blast itself, known as "pika" in Japanese, and carries an unhealing wound on his cheek. His wife Shigeko (Ichihara Etsuko, Samurai Rebellion) and niece Yasuko (Tanaka Yoshiko, Ringu 0) were not in Hiroshima city during the blast itself, but were under the black rain when it began to fall.

Shizuma, Shigeko and Yasuko try to make a life for themselves in a small village where there are a few other Hiroshima survivors, known in Japanese as hibakusha, facing discrimination and health problems lasting long after the war is over. Yasuko is still a young woman of twenty-five, and yet cannot find a husband as the cloud of Hiroshima and atomic disease hangs over her. Here uncle Shizuma tries to clear her name, producing doctor's records attesting to her health, but the hibakusha are seen as tainted, and no family will agree to join themselves to the nuclear family. One by one, the hibakusha in the village begin to become sick and die, and Yasuko wonders when the cold hand of radiation poisoning will finally come to claim her.

A story like this seems ready made for melodrama and tears, but under the guiding hand of master director Imamura Shohei (Vengeance Is Mine, The Ballad of Narayama) we are presented with a much more personal family drama. Shizuma knows he is living under a guaranteed death sentence, but strives to find a husband for the still-healthy Yasuko before he dies. They go about their daily lives, making plans for the future such as stocking a local koi pond but always with the knowledge that the future is not theirs to have.

Probably my favorite scene in "Black Rain" is when Shizuma and a fellow hibakusha share a quiet moment drinking on the porch at night, wondering why exactly it was Hiroshima that was picked for the bomb, and not Tokyo. They aren't shouting "woe is me" or expressing rage, merely curious as to why their homes were the target of the new weapon. That kind of scene, which really shows Imamura's humanistic touch, raises the level of "Black Rain" to something more than a pity party.

The story flits between the present day villiage life, and flashback scenes to the bombing itself and the desperate escape Shizuma, Yasuko and Shigeko made through the burning streets of Hiroshima. The flashback scenes show the horrors that have become associated with Hiroshima; the charred human beings with the melted flesh of their fingers hanging down like gloves, the mercy of lack of pain with even the most hideous wounds due to nerves having been completely cauterized by the blast, the constant cries of "water," "water" by those whose bodies were instantly dehydrated by the heat of the blast.

I went to school in Hiroshima, and have been to the Peace Park many times, and seen the artifacts of the blast in person, the shadow figures burned on walls, the clocks stopped at the exact time of the blast, the photographs of melted humans. Imamura does an elegant job of presenting all of this horror without wallowing in it, and never leaving behind the humanity inherent in the dead and the survivors.

Animeigo clearly considers "Black Rain" an important movie, because they have gone all out on the production of this DVD. Of course they did the usual excellent job with the subtitles, providing several options including straight subtitles, subtitles with "pop-up" cultural notes, and a unique non-subtitle option with only signs translated for those studying Japanese, in either white or yellow. They also commissioned something wonderful that has never been seen anywhere before this DVD.

Director Imamura originally intended "Black Rain" to have a color epilogue. (Remember, this movie was filmed in 1983, so the use of black-and-white was entirely a stylistic choice as would be seen in later films like Schindler's List). Ultimately Imamura was not satisfied with the color epilogue, and the ending was re-shot in black-and-white. For the first time, Animeigo commissioned an edit of the 19-minute color epilogue and included it on this DVD for the first time. I agree with Imamura's choice not to include it in the finished film, but it is really nice to have as an extra feature.

Also included on this DVD under the title of "Multimedia Vault," are several US-produced propaganda films about Japan and the atomic bomb, including "Our Enemy: The Japanese," "My Japan," "A Tale of Two Cities: Hiroshima and Nagasaki," "Atom Blast At Hiroshima" and "Truman Radio Address (6 August 1945)." There are two video interviews produced for this DVD, one with actress Tanaka Yoshiko, who played Yasuko, and one with director Miike Takeshi (Ichi the Killer, Audition) who worked on "Black Rain" as an assistant director.