… Akira Kurosawa’s ‘Red Beard’ is the story of a recent medical graduate assigned to a rural clinic for his post-graduate training. In his arrogance, he is livid that he should have to train in a poor clinic – aspiring instead to ascend the ranks of caring for the rich and powerful Shoguns. Through a variety of experiences – in particular involving the brusque but empathic physician known as “Red Beard” – he undergoes a radical change in perspective.
“A testament to the goodness of humankind, Akira Kurosawa’sRed Beard (Akahige) chronicles the tumultuous relationship between an arrogant young doctor and a compassionate clinic director. Toshiro Mifune, in his last role for Kurosawa, gives a powerhouse performance as the dignified yet empathic director who guides his pupil to maturity, teaching the embittered intern to appreciate the lives of his destitute patients. Perfectly capturing the look and feel of 19th-century Japan, Kurosawa weaves a fascinating tapestry of time, place, and emotion.” from the Criterion website