Among other mini-narrations in “Dodes’kaden” Kurosawa depicts the existential predicament of a homeless father-son family. The obvious – physical pauperization is only part of this family’s impoverishment, but this “obvious part” is a metaphor of pauperization of the human soul. Our culture forgets about the human (including children’s) existentially spiritual needs. Physical poverty of the father and child in the film signifies the spiritual – “holistic poverty” of our today’s Western societies which are feeding the souls of their children and adults with (artificial) high-tech fodder.


Here, we see father and his child together, when father’s mind-and-heart is occupied with architectural competence of his professionalism – something which his son cannot connect to – so, while listening to his father’s specialized verbal constructions he has to learn to concentrate on them as some kind of phantoms instead of focusing on his own existential needs. It’s like in today’s societies financial elite is concentrating on getting technological power, and the decision-makers require from the whole society to be occupied with high-tech toys (like iPad, Smartphones, video games, etc.), which seduce and entertain the population on the one hand, and manipulate and disable the holistic human mind on the other. In Kurosawa’s film the phantoms of father’s highly professional mind are plans for construction and images of houses of the future (as beautiful as unreachable in their beauty).


Step by step the child became hypnotized by father’s imagination, like today many children and adults while walking along the street are fixated on their cell-phones so completely that they forget to look around at traffic.


The beautiful enigmatic gate to the future (which father’s meticulous imagination invents for his son) became for him an irresistible call to create. And he feels himself a prophet leading his son to a blissful future. Kurosawa is underlining here how technical science in today’s societies functions like powerful prescientific utopia.


How beautiful this gate to the future paradise is! But with growing pauperization of the population today will the future children of immiserating be able to enjoy it?


The job of the little son of our high-tech architect is to find and to bring leftovers from the Tokyo restaurants.


The little boy is quite a successful collector of leftovers – kitchen people rarely refuse a child asking for food


The father “built” a luxurious house of the future not for himself nor for his clients, but for his son. Appreciate not only the humanism of his dedication, but the caring intentionality of his creativity.


Exhausted by the intensity of his creative concentration, the father never asked himself the question – will his son be able to grow up to live in this kind of a house as soon as the actual conditions of his growing up are so disastrous? Do today’s American astrophysicists ask themselves similar questions about the conditions of human life on the earth, while they enjoying their salaries provided by the taxpayers living under austerity regime, not by luminous creatures from another worlds impressed by earthly scientists’ curiosity and daring minds?

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After the father ate almost without noticing the food, he, as usual quickly returned to his topics of the houses of the future. But pay attention to the face of his son – his little mind is already kidnapped by his father’s interests. That’s how American technical science students are kidnapped from life by being seduced by the issue of future jobs and salaries and by the beauty of technical science. They are less and less interested in studying humanistic sciences (which are melting away before our eyes).


The child became fascinated, overwhelmed with his father’s imagination, like today’s youth with technical toys and future unlimited prosperity


Father’s architectural scientific phantasy became for the son more beautiful and more real with each day, like the very might of technological artifacts of Western civilization more and more irresistible for the young people who dream to be in charge of robotic power and friendly commanders of robots.


But the father has never thought who, besides his son will live in the houses of future constructed by him. If to ask him he, probably will say something like that everybody will be welcomed.

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The little boy became ill not only emotionally – by being burdened by the seriousness and the weight of his father’s imagination, but by food poisoning


Father had an experience of being sick because of stale food, but he, basically an optimistic person, believed that his son will become better. Beside, his son also said in front of people nearby that he will be ok. It’s like some parents believe in the sacred power of guns and cannot imagine that their child can be killed by a fatal casual bullet release.


When the child, precious to the father’s heart, died, the father felt that he must give to his son an exceptional present.


Here, we see the swimming pool which the father has constructed in his imagination to the eternal memory of his dead son. The incredible quantity of private swimming pools as a part of today’s life style seems to have inspired Kurosawa to create this image.

Posted on Sep/4/’14 – “Dodes’kaden” (1970) by Akira Kurosawa by Acting-Out Politics

Posted on May 26, 2012 – Akira Kurosawa’s “Dodes’kaden” (1970) As Anthropological “Map” of Human Psychological Condition (Kurosawa’s Contemplation on the Living Art of Archetypal Crystallization) by Acting-Out Politics