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15 years ago: After the Rain premieres

After the Rain
It was 15 years ago today, on January 22, 2000, that the first film posthumously made from an Akira Kurosawa screenplay was released. The film, titled After the Rain (雨あがる, Ame agaru) and directed by Takashi Koizumi, was conceived as something of an homage to Kurosawa, and featured many of his frequent cast and crew.

After the Rain is a story about a masterless samurai (played by Akira Terao, who had appeared in Kurosawa’s last films) who, the amazement of local residents, becomes stranded with his wife at a country inn due to heavy rain. The samurai’s skills with the sword come to the attention of a local lord, who hires him as a fencing instructor, causing friction within the castle.

The film won and was nominated for various awards around the world, no doubt largely thanks to the industry’s overwhelming love for Kurosawa who had passed away only 16 months earlier.

After the Rain is widely available and at least some of the Japanese releases come with English subtitles — see Amazon.co.jp, for instance. It is also available with French subtitles (see Amazon.fr).

For information about other movies filmed from Kurosawa’s screenplays, see here.

Do you think that After the Rain did justice for Kurosawa’s screenplay?

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