Rhapsody in August (1991)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Master filmmaker Akira Kurosawa follows up on his phantasmorgic Dreams with this delicate tale about war and memory. The film centers on Kane (Sachiko Murase) a grandmother who lives on her traditional farm in the hills near Nagasaki. Her husband and a number of siblings died in the 1945 atomic bombing of the city and memories of that event are never far from her mind. She learns that her elder brother, who went to Hawaii to seek his fortune in pineapples, is on his deathbed and would very much like to see his sister one last time. Her half-American nephew Clark (played by none other than Richard Gere) is venturing to Nagasaki to escort her to Hawaii. Though the prospect of meeting a real live American excites Kane's four grandchildren who are staying with her for the summer and who often sport American college T-shirts, Kane remains ambivalent both about the prospects of going to the States, and about the dark memories Clark's presence dredges up.
Art House & International , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:


Hisashi Igawa
as Tadao, Kane's Son
Narumi Kayashima
as Machiko, Tadao's Wife
Mitsunori Isaki
as Shinjiro
Toshie Negishi
as Yoshie, Kane's Daughter
Choichiro Kawarazaki
as Noboru, Yoshie's Husband
Hidetaka Yoshioka
as Tateo, Yoshie's Son
Mie Suzuki
as Minako, Yoshie's Daughter
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Rhapsody in August

All Critics (13) | Top Critics (7)

These days, people are more interested in Kurosawa than he is in being Kurosawa.

March 4, 2013
New Yorker
Top Critic

There's more narrative movement here than in Dreams, but the pedagogic humanism still gets bogged down in facile simplification.

Full Review… | June 23, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

A beautiful reminder from octogenarian Akira Kurosawa that he's still the master.

Full Review… | May 15, 2004
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Mr. Gere gives a good, self-effacing performance in a role that's a little unreal. He speaks his own Japanese dialogue easily and is at the center of one of Mr. Kurosawa's most breathtaking moments.

Full Review… | July 16, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

A delicately nuanced film about remembrance -- so delicate, perhaps, that it's not terribly memorable itself.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Washington Post
Top Critic

Plain and simple, Rhapsody is mediocre pap. It's nothing compared with his previous work.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Washington Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Rhapsody in August

A fine little film by Kurosawa. Plain but evocative. I like late-stage Kurosawa.

Kyle Meisch
Kyle Meisch

Super Reviewer

Well,it isn't the worst Kurosawa,that's a gravity point.It's pathetic nonetheless.Piety and respect to the fruitful generation in spite of the elders' guidance and alternatively,the cycle continues by giving props to the what occurred in a critical epoch of a land e.g. the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima/Nagasaki.Props as in mournful homage.All's well that end's well but what's the utter point for all this?Just for Gere commercial?

Dimitris Springer
Dimitris Springer

Super Reviewer


Not one of Kurosawa's best, bust visually stunning.

Anthony Valletta
Anthony Valletta

Super Reviewer

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