STILL I LIVE ON
Tuesday, October 22
どっこい生きてる (Dokkoi ikiteru)
Director Tadashi Imai
Cast Chôjûrô Kawarasaki, Kan’emon Nakamura, Isao Kimura
Screenplay Hisaya Iwasa | Cinematography Yoshio Miyajima
1951 | Japan | 35mm print courtesy The Japan Foundation Film Library | approx. 103 min. | In Japanese with English subtitles
Taking cues from the Italian neo-realists, this hard-hitting socialist drama is a devastating tale of the trials of a poor day-laborer trying to sustain his family. Served as a manifesto of the Independent Production movement after the “red purge” and Toho union struggle of the late 40s, the film stars actors from Zenshin-za theatre troupe (Humanity and Paper Balloons) and was funded by donations collected by recently independent kabuki actors who had also re-committed to keeping the art for the common people. Shot by master cinematographer Yoshio Miyajima (The Human Condition) whose 110th anniversary is this year.
STILL I LIVE ON © Dokuritsu Pro.
“One of the first major examples of the postwar Italian influence, the direction being patterned after De Sica’s in Bicycle Thieves. The story was persuasively presented, though many felt that Imai’s compromise with the star system inherent in his use of the Communist Party’s Zenshin-za theatrical troupe considerably invalidated his message, even though the ensemble gave the acting a rare unity in style.”
– Donald Richie