The ballad of Narayama

The ballad of Narayama

DVD - 2008 | Japanese
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A healthy Japanese widow puts her life in order, then follows the custom of retreating to a mountain at age 70 to die. Directed by Shohei Imamura.
Publisher: [United States?] : AnimEigo, c2008.
Edition: Widescreen version.
ISBN: 9781565675025
1565675029
Branch Call Number: DVD MOVIE FOREIGN JAPANESE
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (130 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.

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j
jimg2000
Aug 04, 2016

You really don't know about Dad's disappearance? It was when you were 15, and Risuke was 5. Very bad harvest that year. The girl who just gave birth was sold to Shioya and Ribei's mother and me both are 69. That's the age to go to the mountaintop, and bad things coming together, Ribei's very disappointing for failing to bring his mother to the mountaintop. Well rules are rules, kindness is not the issue. and he just felt himself running away, so painful so disgraceful.
===
But it isn't good either, to be like me, so healthy able to eat but nothing else. I also want to come to the summit. I don't want to die in my bed and be buried near there. The result is same. All our souls will come to the summit in the end. All of us will meet at the summit together.
-Really?
Sure. Your husband is also waiting for you.

j
jimg2000
Aug 04, 2016

I'll come to the summit soon. It also will be OK later. No, no, God will cry if I go early.
===
These trout were all caught by me. Are you able to catch a trout? No one could catch more than me, in my home or village. I know where they are. I will tell you later. You can eat all these things (trout.) There are many sun-cured, too.
===
... the farmhand that was killed by father haunts us now. After I die, you will serve as the one-night wife of the farmhands by turns. One farmhand each night? Yes! then come to worship the God. Also let the serfs worship the God. If you don't do this, the farmhand will make trouble in this house forever. Aen! it's your duty! you must do penance!

j
jimg2000
Aug 04, 2016

Don't simply eat, come to the mill.
-Why?
The food in the pot is just enough for one bowl per person.
-Really?
Winter will come ...The food supply is enough for five months
-I hope so. Is our food going to be enough for the winter?
No, we must find a solution.
===
"It's better to carry grandma to the mountain." And he said "What do you know?"
and got angry suddenly.
===
Tatsuhei, I liked Ribei, but he made me ashamed. It was not you who killed him, but God.

j
jimg2000
Aug 04, 2016

Don't simply eat, come to the mill.
-Why?
The food in the pot is just enough for one bowl per person.
-Really?
Winter will come ...The food supply is enough for five months
-I hope so. Is our food going to be enough for the winter?
No, we must find a solution.
===
"It's better to carry grandma to the mountain." And he said "What do you know?"
and got angry suddenly.
===
Tatsuhei, I liked Ribei, but he made me ashamed. It was not you who killed him, but God.

j
jimg2000
Aug 04, 2016

You must obey the rules of the mountain.
You must not talk on the way to the mountain.
Don't let yourself be noticed by anyone when you leave home.
The road to the mountain is the piedmont of the other side of the mountain.
Pass the winter-tree, climb over a second mountain, there will be a pool.
Walk around the pool three times, then walk over the ladder.
Make your way over a mountain there will be a ravine.
Cross the ravine, then proceed two miles and a half.
On your way there are seven bends, that is Seven-Valley.
When you pass through Seven-Valley you will arrive at the saddle back...
From there is the road to the God.
There's a road to the God, but sometimes it is hard to see...
The higher you climb, the better. God is waiting for you there.
You mustn't look back while you go back from the mountain.
There's no need to go up to the mountain if you are unwilling.
You can also return from the saddleback.

j
jimg2000
Aug 04, 2016

The baby seems much bigger than before. Will it be born?
-Next year. Would the baby's face like me or its father?
Like grandma
-Grandma said he would be premature. What sin does a premature baby have?
It is from procreating too young
===
Our ancestors have gone to the summit for hundreds of years as we do now. There will have been thousands of persons like you. 25 years from now I will go there too. Kesakichi will carry me. And another 25 years later Kesakichi must go too. We have no means but this to survive. Is the God waiting for you at the summit? If it's really there It ought to snow the way it says in the ballad.

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j
jimg2000
Aug 04, 2016

Stunning film on the struggle to survive by peasants in an isolated village nested in the shadow of Mt. Narayama. NYT's did a good review on this film in 1984, see "Summary." Throughout the film, the humans were compared to creatures that lived among them, procreating, eating and hunting. The seemingly endless barbaric acts required courage to keep on watching. However, at the end, viewers were shown the inner emotions and cognitive abilities that distinguishes man from beast. (Both this and the 1958 version of the film received high marks and number of awards from critics.)

s
SunsetBranch
Feb 06, 2016

Described in the Criterion Collection's commentary as "more visceral" than the 1958 version. As an American, I can certainly appreciate that. If you watch this movie, you'll never again be able to take seriously anyone who complains how tough it is to make a living nowadays.

This little community lives on the edge of existence: any newcomer to the family table means there won't be enough food for all. The precariousness of this life is inconceivable, really, to modern people. Our primitive ancestors--they were real men and women! We're just babies in comparison

p
PeterRLD
Sep 08, 2015

If you're thinking a ballad must be a jolly song sung by a minstrel, you might want to reconsider. Instead of a song, you get a peek into life in a village of Japanese peasants struggling to survive in a grim and unforgiving environment. While their culture is shocking and repellent, you can see how it enables the group to survive. The old lady is an amazing character - smart enough to take care of her family but also to know that the traditions are there for a reason, even if they mean her death. Not a family movie, but a thought-provoking and inspiring one.

josette0503 Feb 15, 2014

This movie was supposed to be about how a elderly woman goes to a mountain to die, but the first 90 mins of the movie were just disgusting!! tons of gross sex scenes and there is even bestiality in it!! I defiantly would not recommend this movie to anyone!!

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josette0503 Feb 15, 2014

Other: A VERY disturbing bestiality scene

josette0503 Feb 15, 2014

Sexual Content: Lots of disgusting sex scenes

josette0503 Feb 15, 2014

Violence: a whole family is buried alive!

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j
jimg2000
Aug 04, 2016

http://www.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=9C06EFD61638F93AA35757C0A962948260?

Excerpt:The new Japanese film, based on the same Shichiro Fukazawa stories that inspired Keisuke Kinoshita's 1958 film of the same name, means to be an ironic but life-affirming commentary on our so-called civilization by contrasting it with the manners and customs in a primitive Japanese mountain village 100 years ago.

Existence is not easy in the mountain village. Famine always threatens. The population is controlled mainly by tossing out newborn male children to die in the rice paddies. Female babies are retained for potential childbearing. If, by chance, a village elder has not died by age 70, the eldest child must carry the old person to a secret place near the summit of Mount Narayama, where the ancient one is left to die of starvation and exposure. In this fashion the community makes sure that there will be enough food for the survival of the rest of the villagers.

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