The mother of a feudal lord's only heir is kidnapped away from her husband by the lord. The husband and his samurai father must decide whether to accept the unjust decision, or risk death to get her back.
Apu is a jobless former student dreaming vaguely of a future as a writer. An old college friend talks him into a visit up-country to a village wedding. This changes his life, for when the ... See full summary »
An elder ronin samurai arrives at a feudal lord's home and requests an honorable place to commit suicide. But when the ronin inquires about a younger samurai who arrived before him things take an unexpected turn.
How do we understand faith and prayer, and what of miracles? August 1925 on a Danish farm. Patriarch Borgen has three sons: Mikkel, a good-hearted agnostic whose wife Inger is pregnant, ... See full summary »
Carl Theodor Dreyer
Emil Hass Christensen,
Preben Lerdorff Rye
In mediaeval Japan a compassionate governor is sent into exile. His wife and children try to join him, but are separated, and the children grow up amid suffering and oppression. Written by
David Levene <D.S.Levene@durham.ac.uk>
'Kenji Mizoguchi' left the composer alone to do the music. He also did that before in his previous films Ugetsu Monogatari as much as Chikamatsu Monogatari. See more »
[Speaking to his son Zushio on the verge of being exiled and separated from his family]
Zushio, I wonder if you'll become a stubborn man like me. You may be too young to understand, but hear me out anyway. Without mercy, man is like a beast. Even if you are hard on yourself, be merciful to others. Men are created equal. Everyone is entitled to their happiness.
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Sansho the Bailiff: perfect execution of dramatic story-telling
This is the second film I saw by Kenji Mizoguchi (the first one being Ugetsu). Sansho the Bailiff is a gripping and moving story of the importance of ideals and virtue in a world of misery and harshness. It captured the silver lion at Venice in 1954, along with Seven Samurai. This film is a masterpiece, and Mizoguchi is one of the greatest directors of all time. His films portray the dramatic "story" perfectly. A Mizoguchi film lets you not simply watch a narrative, but feel it and experience it as well, more so than in most other movies you'll probably watch. His most moving moments, including the ending in Sansho, as well as Ugetsu, produce moments of genuine pathos in the viewer: their is no hint of over-dramatization or sentimentality. Simply stunning.
I would this film a 9.5/10, only because Ugetsu (which I gave 10/10) is more perfect in its devastation (yes, everything is relative). Watch it, treasure every moment of it, and hope a DVD will come out in the near future.
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