Narayama bushiko (Ballad of Narayama)

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86%

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Total Count: 7

90%

Audience Score

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Movie Info

Adapted from a novel by Shichiro Fukazawa, The Ballad of Narayama is built around an ancient Japanese custom. Centuries ago, it was customary for the younger citizens of a remote Japanese mountain village to shepherd all those over the age of seventy to the snowy crags of Mt. Narayama. There the elders would be left to die from exposure and starvation--a fate they were expected to meet with stoic resignation. As the film observes, this custom was not universally accepted even in ancient times: Some of the old folks put up a physical struggle against their exile, others accept the inevitable under verbal protest, and some of the younger relatives question whether they have the right to go along with this questionable "cleansing" process. Heartbreakingly brilliant, The Ballad of Narayama was remade in 1983; the latter version won the Grand Prize at the Cannes Film Festival. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for Narayama bushiko (Ballad of Narayama)

All Critics (7) | Fresh (6) | Rotten (1)

Audience Reviews for Narayama bushiko (Ballad of Narayama)

  • Jun 13, 2014
    Wow, that was horrible. Can't believe I actually sat through it. Good, but horrible. Although, truthfully I can think of a few 70+ people I know who could do with going up that mountain!
    Nicki M Super Reviewer
  • Oct 28, 2011
    A brilliant and methodically made and enacted Japanese classic. This was also the last of the "Great Films" in the great Roger Ebert's film reviews section. The film is one of sadness and the ending of life, an era that will lead to new beginnings hopefully. I believe it will, like the film portrays, mean the Mr Ebert is in a better place now.
    Chris B Super Reviewer
  • Dec 08, 2008
    finally caught up with the original version of this and it's much different than imamura's stylistically but at least equally worth watching. staged very formally like a kabuki play with obviously fake backdrops and dramatic scene changes, it seems a more appropriate treatment for the legendary subject matter. mizoguchi's long time muse, kinuyo tanaka plays the still hearty elderly mother resigned to her fate
    Stella D Super Reviewer

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