Ikiru (Akira Kurosawa – 1952) A

A beautifully made simple story with a message that rings true for any generation. When Watanabe learns he is dying of cancer and realizes he has spend his entire life in a meaningless bureaucratic government city job he starts wanting to make the most of what he has left. He wants to maybe find some meaning. What does he find? He parties all night. He befriends a young woman. He drinks. He spends money. All of these make him happy. Temporarily. Then he does something for someone else. He he helps others. That’s what it’s about. Legacy and meaning is about doing something for others. That’s how Watanabe was remembered. Seems a bit cheesy but it is not at all. It is far more subtle and nuanced than I am making sound.

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