What a Movie!

High & Low (1963, Akira Kurosawa) – Brandon's movie memory

Every now and then we like to watch a movie with some meat to it, and a story that needs telling. Yesterday we found a keeper: High and Low (1963), directed by Akira Kurosawa, starring Toshiro Mifune–and right there you know it’s gonna be great. Based on a classic police story by Ed McBain.

If you ever wondered why God treats envy as a sin, this film will clue you in. It’s all about the destructive power of envy. Mifune’s character overcomes his own darker side; the villain in the story, devoured by envy, can’t. And I wonder if I ought to warn you: this is powerful stuff.

There are some plot twists in here that’ll knock you for a loop, with another volcanic performance by Mifune, one of the world’s great film actors, and another great story by Kurosawa, one of the world’s great directors, who often lent a hand in writing his movies’ screenplays.

And never mind that it’s a Japanese movie! Kurosawa was great because he spoke to all of us; that’s why his movies never grow old. High and Low is set in modern times, but Kurosawa’s samurai epics touch all times and peoples.

So, yes, envy is a sin, and High and Low superbly teaches that. I don’t know whether Kurosawa was a Christian, although Mifune was (his parents were Methodist missionaries).

Envy is the mother’s milk of left-wing ideologies. That’s why they do so much damage. The bad guy in High and Low missed his calling as a 21st-century Democrat in America. He had to settle for being a kidnapper in 1963 Japan.

3 comments on “What a Movie!

  1. I agree completely that envy lies at the root of many, many problems. I’ve never understood why people take such umbrage at the success of others, but it happens at many levels, from personal to international.

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