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Considered by many to be Akira Kurosawa's greatest achievement, Ikiru (To Live) presents the director at his most compassionate - affirming life through the exploration of a man's death. Takashi shimura portrays Kanji Wtanabe, an aging bureaucrat with stomach cancer forced to strip the veneer from 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 the full portrait of a misunderstood man.