Throughout the 1950s and early 1960s, Akira Kurosawa directed approximately one movie per year. That would be unheard of these days! The 1953 film Ikiru follows a struggling terminally-ill bureaucrat from Tokyo as he searches for meaning. It is inspired by Tolstoy’s 1886 novella The Death of Ivan Ilyich. The film explores themes like the inefficiency of bureaucracy, the decaying life of families in Japan, and the quest to learn how to live life best.