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Akira Kurosawa

Akira Kurosawa is widely considered not only one of the greatest Japanese directors, but one of the best in the world. In addition to his masterpieces, such as Seven Samurai, he has consistently shown his creative talents in his nearly 30 films. However, some of his films are clearly worse than others, and he has had some failures. As with all director's work, there are obvious reasons for this. He improved his filmmaking talents as he gained more experience, and of course sometimes he chose better material or more filmic subjects. Moreover, with Kurosawa, another factor at work here, his humanist political beliefs, damaged his ability to make quality films at times. Kurosawa has been described by some writers as being apolitical, and he seems comfortable with that definition. He certainly has distanced himself from the Marxist camp, in interviews and clearly in his films. He does not have a romanticized view of the working and lower classes. He does not see the world as simply good versus evil, with terrible capitalists exploiting the angelic masses. He is clearly not a left-wing ideologue. Nor is he a right-wing one. But does he stay "above the fray," not taking a stand? He certainly prompts the individual in his films. He believes in people being the priority over ideas, buildings and governments. In No Regrets For Our Youth, his hero takes a stand for individual freedom against the repressive policies of a dictatorial government. In Ikiru, his hero battles bureaucracy to get a park erected for the school children. In Record of A Living Being, his hero tries to awaken the world to the threat of a overmilitarized, nuclear world. In Dersu Uzala, we see the strength of the human spirit in his hero who is one with nature. The emphasis in Kurosawa's films on the individual, on the human battling against the impersonal, is a consistent one.

His humanism certainly requires taking a stand, doing "something," because...

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Akira Kurosawa. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 11:10, April 21, 2019, from