It seems only fitting that Akira Kurosawa's last film (which he wrote and directed) be an homage to teaching. After all, he inspired many of today's respected directors and is taught in film schools internationally. Madadayo is a sweetly overlong portrayal of an interconnected community whose center is a beloved professor.

Madadayo opens with a Professor (Tatsuo Matsumura) announcing to his class that after 30 years of teaching, he is now choosing to write in retirement. The young sing his praises and previous alumni move the Professor and his wife into a new home. The pair is as hospitable to everyone as if they were children returning from college.

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