The Ballad of Narayama (1983)

This film makes an interesting bedfellow with Tokyo Story. These are two wildly different films with fundamentally the same message: the aged are pushed aside so the young can keep on living (on airs in the case of the latter), until they too find themselves in their parents’ position, and the cycle repeats. I have never seen a film depict how truly wretched the life of villagers in these little mountain towns could be. Shohei Imamura pulled no punches. But, like the documentary Becoming a Woman in Zanskar, one can easily see why they are the way they are and why they choose to do the things they do.… Click to continue...