in about 100 words or less
Japan 130m, Colour
Director: Shōhei Imamura; Cast: Ken Ogata, Sumiko Sakamoto, Takejo Aki, Tonpei Hidari, Seiji Kurasaki, Kaoru Shimamori, Ryutaro Tatsumi, Junko Takada, Nijiko Kiyokawa, Mitsuko Baisho
One of the bleakest movies that I have ever seen, The Ballad of Narayama is the story of the impoverished people of a rural mountain village in 19th century Japan who maintain their population through infanticide, senilicide and outright murder. Contrasting many non-human images of nature with the actions of the villagers, it is unclear what the filmmaker is attempting to do, other than divert attention to the horrific cultural practices of these miserable folk (Klaus Ming October 2016).