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In post-war Japan, sixteen-year-old Eiko seeks out the geisha Miyoharu in the district of Gion, in Kyoto asking her to be a maiko (geisha apprentice). Eiko explains that her mother - who ... See full summary »
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.
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Hatsuko Umabuchi is a widow who runs a prosperous geisha house in present-day Kyoto. Her daughter Yukiko returns from Tokyo following a failed suicide attempt, after her lover found out ... See full summary »
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>
[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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The first time I saw this film was when I was in university. It impressed me greatly then. Watching it again recently invoked the same emotion - I was deeply saddened by the horrific acts one human can do to the other. And guess what, a century later the human race has not really advanced that much in this area.
While the film also highlights the noble side of us - compassion and mercy to the weak, maintenance of integrity amid suffering - it is the downside of it that gets me. I finished the movie feeling depressed, as I did several decades ago.
Super B/W photography, a good story, and masterly directing by Mizoguchi make this a classic film of all time. Find an evening when you yearn for artistic fulfillment, and yet are prepared to pay an emotional price for it. Highly recommended for the serious film buffs.
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