Akira Kurosawa is internationally recognized as one of the great auteurs of cinema. His visually stunning samurai films made him famous worldwide, but some of his most compelling works deal with crime and corruption in modern society. Whether set in the past or the present, each of his films tells a story about an unlikely hero who finds himself grappling with an enduring human question: What personal sacrifices must we make for the good of others? What is bravery and where does it come from? How do we achieve our own identity? Is goodness possible in an evil world? Students will explore and debate these issues as we analyze Kurosawa’s storytelling style and cinematic techniques in a dozen films spanning his fifty-year career, including Drunken Angel, Seven Samurai, Ikiru and Kagemusha. 3 hrs. lect./ 3 hrs. screen.