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  • A man and a woman sit on the floor; she smiles at him but he looks unhappy.
  • Three men hold back another man as he approaches a woman aggressively.
  • A woman touches and looks at a broken bit of a wooden structure, while a man looks at her intently, and an elderly man watches them both from a few feet away.


12:50   8:40

Saturday, November 2

どん底 (Donzoko)

Director Akira Kurosawa
Cast Toshirô Mifune, Bokuzen Hidari, Isuzu Yamada, Kyôko Kagawa
Screenplay Akira Kurosawa, Hideo Oguni | Cinematography Kazuo Yamazaki
1957 | Japan | 35mm | approx. 137 min. | In Japanese with English subtitles

Maxim Gorky’s ensemble play about down-and-outs transposed to 19th century Japan, this is probably the greatest theater-to-film adaptation ever made. The ensemble acting is superb – not too surprising, considering the forty-day rehearsal period for both cast and crew. And the interpretation is unusual and exciting, with comedian Bokuzen Hidari in the usually tear-jerking role of the pilgrim and Mifune as punkish thief. One of Kurosawa’s finest works – all too little known.

Film Forum