Follows a woman's fight and survival amid the vicissitudes of life and the cruelty of society.Follows a woman's fight and survival amid the vicissitudes of life and the cruelty of society.Follows a woman's fight and survival amid the vicissitudes of life and the cruelty of society.
***** Well worth seeing
Kenji Mizoguchi's stunning masterpiece is a heartbreaking tale of purity in a world of corruption. Based on a seventeenth-century novel by Saikaku Ihara called The Woman Who Loved Love, the film tells the story of Oharu, a young woman who in her younger days worked as a lady-in-waiting at the Imperial Palace of Kyoto, but having fallen in love with a man below her rank is expelled from the palace, and she and her parents are forced to live in exile. Try as she might to find love in her relationships, she is constantly thwarted by her society's low expectations for a woman's heart and her father's ambitions for respectability, and soon descends to being a concubine, later a streetwalking prostitute. Mizoguchi's tones are so gentle and poetic that every frame works its way into your heart, and in such a delicate manner. Kinuyo Tanaka's performance as Oharu is beautiful as well, abandoning the melodramatic gestures common to Japanese film acting and going straight for the heart. Sumptuous production design and a decidedly feminist message make a film well worth seeing.
- Feb 22, 2000
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