Two years after the foundation of Musashino city, alongside a war almost about to end, Akiyama Michiko, descendant of an old samurai, and therefore rooted in traditional values, is an unhappy woman married to an opportunist, cold and extremely selfish intellectual man who doesn't even love her and would take advantage of her if necessary.
The story might be somewhat simple and boring to those not used to Japanese cinema, but the exceptional thing here is the outstanding camera work. Mizoguchi was one of the pioneering directors of Japanese cinema and his filmmaking style was ahead of its time.
The many sequence shots throughout the entire film are to be taken into account when watching this film; they point out Mizoguchi's amazing skills in filmmaking. It really looks like a modern film, or at least it seemed that way to me; I would have never thought this was from 1951.
For filmmaking students or film buffs this is a hidden gem, just as the entire Mizoguchi filmography is. It is really a shame that he is so underrated.
My score: 9.3/10
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