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Slideshow

  • Actor Tatsuya Nakadai stands with Michiyo Aratama, his hand on her shoulder.
  • A soldier in uniform approaches actor Tatsuya Nakadai antagonistically.
  • Actor Tatsuya Nakadai crouches over craggy surface, looking intently at something.
  • People walking in a line along a barren hillside.
PREVIOUSLY PLAYED

Masaki Kobayashi’s
THE HUMAN CONDITION PART I:
NO GREATER LOVE

8:10*

*ADDED SCREENING

Saturday, April 20

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(1959) 35mm. Approx. 208 min.

Part one of Masaki Kobayashi’s three-part The Human Condition.

PART II: ROAD TO ETERNITY screens Sunday, April 21 at 4:50; and Monday, April 22 at 6:45.

PART III: A SOLDIER’S PRAYER screens Sunday, April 21 at 8:10; Tuesday, April 23 at 7:15; and Monday, April 29 at 2:30.

THE HUMAN CONDITION

Manchuria, WWII: well-meaning labor boss Tatsuya Nakadai tentatively tries humane methods in a raging barbed wire world of oppressed workers, cruel Army superiors, and starved Chinese POWs; then experiences the jaw-breaking brutality of Imperial Army life and must pit rifle fire against Russian tanks. Scathing, three-part exposé of the Japanese occupation of Manchuria, with a breakthrough performance from Nakadai in “one of the most physically and emotionally grueling roles any actor has ever had to endure.” (Terrence Rafferty, The New York Times), as he moves from indecisive would-be-liberal to rock-hard leader of men. Once listed in Guinness as the longest movie ever made, with dazzling b&w Scope photography and an enormous supporting cast that’s practically a Japanese movie Who’s Who, The Human Condition was the dream project and masterpiece of Japan’s titan of socially critical cinema, Masaki Kobayashi (Harikiri, Kwaidan, Samurai Rebellion). And, it is thanks to his narrative expertise, tremendously absorbing – every minute of its almost-10-hour running time.

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