This is a brilliant film. A story about a poverty stricken part of Edo (Tokyo) in the feudal era of Japan, the film concerns itself with its inhabitants, all of which are superbly written and realized. The best role went to Nakamura Kanemon as Shinzu The Barber. His character is contrary, proud and kind of fearless. The depiction of poor but somewhat brutish samurai is also greatly written. The story begins with a suicide and while is generally an unhappy film there is a bit of dark comedy in it. One of the saddest things was this was director Yamanaka Sadeo's swan song, as he died in the war shortly thereafter. Sadder still is that most of his films have been lost, but you still have this film, an utterly mesmerizing tale of the poor who somehow accept their fate and do not make it a millstone around their neck. See this, its a deserved classic.
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