Five prostitutes work at Dreamland, in Tokyo's Yoshiwara district. As the Diet considers a ban on prostitution, the women's daily dramas play out. Each has dreams and motivations. Hanae is married, her husband unemployed; they have a young child. Yumeko, a widow, uses her earnings to raise and support her son, who's now old enough to work and care for her. The aging Yorie has a man who wants to marry her. Yasumi saves money diligently to pay her debt and get out; she also has a suitor who wants to marry her, but she has other plans for him. Mickey seems the most devil-may-care, until her father comes from Kobe to bring her news of her family and ask her to come home.Written by
Fabulous film making, a really enjoyable and moving film, oh so beautifully shot. Every wondrous frame is a sight to behold and Mr Mizoguchi certainly knew how to exploit the 4:3 academy ratio and as it says in my booklet, don't dare watch it stretched on a widescreen TV. Set in Tokyo's red-light district of the time and against the background of political attempts to have prostitution made illegal, as well as everything else it is a tantilising glimpse of the mid fifties streets. Poverty and hypocrisy, along with the real need to literally pull those punters in. Always ravishing to watch there are additionally some stand out scenes and the controversial ending works splendidly for me with the electronic music preventing it becoming 'sentimental' or 'overplayed' as suggested by Keiko I McDonald in her 1984 biography of the director.
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