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Akira Kurosawa Streaming Services In Europe [Ireland]


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    Looking for some advice, if possible. Delighted to have found your site.

    Are there any streaming services that show AK films in Europe ( The Republic Of Ireland, specifically)?

    The British Film Institute / BFI have a great service, but is UK only. Very reasonable monthly fee.

    Criterion are US only, afaik.

    Amazon have a small handful of AK films available, to digitally rent/buy to Irish customers, but we don’t get the full Prime experience that UK customers receive. Think they have a deal / collaboration between Amazon Prime & BFI. UK customers appear to have lots of AK films on that subscription.

    I’m a huge AK fan. Really want to see more movies & would prefer to stream than buy DVDs. Though I probably will end up purchasing physical copies, the price is prohibitive to buy, especially with postage costs. First world problems, eh? ?

    Occasionally there is a small run on TV / Satellite, but this occurs so infrequently that it’s not helpful when you want to view as many AK films as possible ?

    I would be eternally grateful if anyone could assist.

    I own Ran & seen Throne Of Blood, Hidden Fortress, Seven Samurai & several others, but my favourite film is Ikiru. Such an interesting tale, delicate & momentous at the same time.

    Take care. J



    Hi J and welcome to the website!

    Unfortunately, the streaming situation is rather poor in Europe. One of our regulars from Ireland is probably able to confirm what the situation is in your country specifically, but at least I am not aware of any widely available European service that would have Kurosawa’s films available for streaming.

    You can also check out JustWatch.com’s listing of Kurosawa’s films in Ireland. I don’t know how accurate it is, but I have often used the service when planning our film club schedules. Apple TV in particular seems to have some rental titles available in Ireland, although primarily the samurai films, rather than the more contemporary works like Ikiru.

    With physical rental shops having all but disappeared, and digital rentals being so confined to specific territories, it’s become difficult for new fans and casual viewers to check out Kurosawa’s works, which really is a shame.

    This reminds me though, maybe I should do a bit of research and put together a page about the global streaming availability of Kurosawa’s films. I’ve had it in mind for years now, but never have got around to doing it.



    Hey Vili,

    Thanks man. Appreciate the welcome & fast reply with some avenues to explore.

    Yeah, it seems like a missed opportunity in a way, or at least one that is not being utilised properly in this new digital age we are living in now. Between broadband speeds & the abundance of streaming / TV services, dunno; is bewildering.

    Those box sets are so expensive & the territories so strictly covered that it has to be down to money at the end of the day. Somebody is keeping a tight handle on it.

    Shame, as my young kids love the movies also. My son enjoyed the Hidden Fortress / Star Wars connection & also began reading Shakespeare after watching Ran It is indeed prohibitive. On so many levels.

    Thanks again Vili! ?



    HI yes, I’m in Ireland and its a problem. Its a few years since I’ve tried it, but any VPN service should allow you access streaming services anywhere in the world – since I haven’t done it recently I don’t have any specific VPN’s I can recommend, and I’m not sure whether it will work with the BFI service.

    I share your frustration – the old Laser dvd rental shop had an amazing collection of obscure films, including many long forgotten Japanese releases. I assumed that in the glorious future days of streaming we’d all be able to get any film we wanted, anytime. But if anything, its become harder over the years to watch older films, unless you want to pay a small fortune in DVD imports.

    I still have most of my Kurosawa films on DVD, but of course I had to get a non-region specific player for the US Criterion collection films. Are you in Dublin? If you are I’d be happy to lend you any DVD’s you don’t have.



    Hi Ugetsu,

    Wow.. really appreciate your phenomenally kind offer. Extremely genuine of you, but alas, I’m not in Dub anymore..

    Lazer Video!! Yes. Man.. that was the place. Was a proud member. Black & White membership card. Felt really grown up graduating from Xtra Vision to there lol. Think Downstairs (??) was where the foreign stuff was. God it’s so long ago now.

    Was great when I lived in town, but had to lose touch when we jumped on the commuter belt property ladder. We moved down to the sticks several years ago. Its great to be rural again. Being isolated seems to be a handy thing these days ???

    I totally agree with what you said about the older films & foreign films also. We have Apple TV, Sky Cinema, Amazon & Netflix. Never mind about Satellite channels, but it’s very difficult to find niche on those streaming services. I do a semi-futile weekly planner sweep of BBC2 / Film 4 & TCM Channels just incase there is something of interest. The quality of the older movies can be touch & go sometimes I’ve found. It’s almost like a bad copy of a bad copy being shown. Diabolical sound. Nobody is checking. I guess I naïvely hoped every single movie that I could think of being spread across the various subscriptions I currently have. Agree that I too expected better in the streaming age.

    Ch4 used to be a bit broader, but it’s all superhero movies now, which are repeated frequently. Dunno.. IMO quality of programming has deteriorated as they complete with the Netflixes.

    That’s the problem in a nutshell. The majority are being catered for as the market has exploded. Fast Food / Boxset / High Calorie / Binge mentality. The art of cinema , that was once held so high, is gone imo. Specialist subjects can a neglected niche.

    Ok.. rant over ?



    J_subsekt: it’s very difficult to find niche on those streaming services

    While it doesn’t have Kurosawa’s films, Mubi has a pretty good collection of arthouse and international films, so perhaps check it out if you haven’t already. I think if you navigate to this page you can see what’s been added most recently.

    That said, I’m actually considering cancelling my subscription there as I don’t seem to find the time to watch anything feature length these days, and the way the service rotates titles with a new film added each day and the film that was added 30 days ago getting removed is a bit too fiddly for me. They also have a permanent library these days, but I haven’t had the time to explore it, particularly as their Android TV app doesn’t have the function yet.

    I was actually at one point going to suggest running our online film club based on Mubi’s rotating roster, but then I found out that the films are different in different territories.



    Yup, J-S, downstairs in Laser was a wonderland. I used to go there every saturday afternoon to find something for my weekends viewing. My only complaint about them is that they used to lie about replacing faulty DVD’s, as a result of which I’ve seen the first 22 minutes of Hiroshima, Mon Amour three times, but no more, as the one copy they had in the shop always stuck at precisely that point.

    I assume you know about Volta, they often have quite a good range for streaming and download, although few older films.

    But with those subscriptions I’d definitely look into a VPN as you may be able to find things on those subscription services that are blocked for Europe.



    Thanks chaps. Just wanted to check back in & say thanks for all the advice. I think VPN is the way to go. Im hooking up & 2nd router ATM & will see how it goes.

    Vili.  Thanks for those links ??

    Ug. Volta.. cool, never heard of it but already see some good stuff. I’m totally blaming you for this VPN journey btw. I’ll report my success or failure asap ?



    Let us know how it goes!

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