Considered by some to be Akira Kurosawa's greatest achievement, Ikiru presents the director at his most compassionate-affirming life through an exploration of a man's death. Takashi Shimura portrays Kanji Watanabe, an aging bureaucrat with stomach cancer forced to strip the veneer off his existence and find meaning in his final days. Told in two parts, Ikiru offers Watanabe's quest in the present, and then through a series of flashbacks. The result is a multifaceted look at a life through a prism of perspectives, resulting in a full portrait of a man who lacked understanding from others in life.
Audio commentary by Stephen Prince, author of The Warrior's Camera: The Cinema of Akira Kurosawa
A Message from Akira Kurosawa (2000): a 90-minute documentary produced by Kurosawa productions and featuring interviews with the director on the set of his later films
A 41-minute documentary on Ikiru from the series, Akira Kurosawa: To Create is Beautiful, including interviews with Akira Kurosawa, writer Hideo Oguni, actor Takashi Shimura, and many others