I have only one friend who can shame me with the classic “YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THIS MOVIE?!?!?” and not make me feel bad, and this is how I wound up finally watching High & Low and yes, my friend, you are correct. Amazing film, even among a filmography of other amazing films. Shifting protagonists for each section, each with its own masterclass for filmmakers: The ever changing, never-boring way of shooting many people in one location in the “Heaven” section; the tense and absolutely perfect train section (why isn’t this discussed in film school like the Seven Samurai rain sequence); the noir-ish squalor of the junkie den at the end, contrasted with the flower-surrounded hillside hideout.
The middle section is also a paean to the middle and working classes, as the police question dock workers, railroad workers, and such, and all offer their own expertise formed from years of work. (This sequence could never be filmed now, I think, everybody would be a part-time worker).