Back to School at FamilyEducation.com
Movies visit the Family Entertainment Center for more entertainment resources
Browse by Title
Browse by Release Date

License to Live (Ningen gokaku)

Rating:No Rating
Genre:Drama, Comedy
Release Date:January 1, 1999
Running time:109 minutes
Cast:Hidetoshi Nishijima, Shun Sugata, Lily, Kumiko Aso, Shô Aikawa
Director:Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Writer:Kiyoshi Kurosawa

Description: In a departure from his acclaimed horror films Cure (1997) and Charisma (1998), Kiyoshi Kurosawa's License to Live is a gentle family melodrama that doubles as a meditation on personal identity. The film focuses on Yutaka (Hidetoshi Nishijima), the victim of an ugly car accident who suddenly wakes up from a 10-year coma. He soon discovers that his world has been turned upside-down in the intervening years. His formerly close-knit family has parted ways and his family home has been turned into a low-rent fish farm and industrial dumping ground by Fujimoto (Koji Yakusho), a gruff huckster friend of his father. Though Yutaka moves back into his family home, he is left feeling confused and unsettled, helped only by Fujimoto, who reluctantly serves as pseudo-father. Yutaka tries to pick up where he left off, but his attempts at meeting old friends and family members leave him feeling only more isolated. In a last-ditch attempt to reclaim his past, he reopens the pony ranch run by his financially incompetent father when he was a child. For a time, his mother Sachiko (Lily) and his sister Chizuru (Kumiko Asou) return to the homestead, and a semblance of the old family begins to cohere -- until a surprising, emotional twist forces Yutaka to realize that he must move on. As in his other films, Kurosawa couches metaphysical themes of identity and mortality in an engaging genre vehicle. Yet this work displays a strikingly minimalist style and a deft use of mood and pacing that point toward a greater maturity. This film was screened at the 1999 Toronto Film Festival as part of the Director's Spotlight.~ Jonathan Crow, All Movie Guide

Movie summaries and listings powered by Cinema-Source

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

highlights

Printable Fall Fun To-Do List
Celebrate the cooler weather with this printable checklist of fun fall activities for your whole family.

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

Top 10 Care Package Items for College Students
Show your college student that you love and miss her by mailing a care package full of dorm room essentials and comforting treats. Whether it's her birthday, exam time, or just because, get care package ideas to brighten her day.

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!