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Vassar Bushmills

“Bureaucracy can never be cured from within, but is always fatal if not cured”

Last week Bob Montgomery made the case against bigger government here at UnifiedPatriots, which prompted me, after a mighty Thanksgiving dinner, to sit down with my wife and break open the seal to a film she’d pulled from a Catholic group’s list of best films. How Akira Kurasawa’s 1952 classic, “Ikiru”, or “To Live”, worked its way onto that list I’ll never know, but she picked that one out.

Kurosawa is a multiple-Academy Award nominee and winner, perhaps best remembered for his “Seven Samurai” (1957) which served as the format for the all-time classic western great “The Magnificent Seven”.

Filmed in the same year the United States handed civilian control of government back to the Japanese, “Ikiru” is considered by many to be his finest work, both as art, and his dissecting of the bureaucratic mind.

The protagonist is a man named Watanabe, a thirty year civil servant, a ranking section chief in a major Japanese city. And as the prologue states, Watanabe had been dead for twenty years.

Then he visits his doctor with stomach problems and is then told he really is going to die, from stomach cancer, within a year[…]

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