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
The film was so popular with Japanese audiences upon its initial release, and so poignant in its portrayal of the lives of prostitutes that when an anti-prostitution law was passed in Japan just a few months later, some said it was a catalyst. See more »
a remarkable coup de grace to mark the end of a remarkable film career. here mizoguchi deals once more with a theme that dominated the length of his film career, prostitution and its effects, exploited on one side of society, shamed through the eyes of another (interesting here is how the family, for example, operates both as exploiter and as judge of these women in mizoguchi's vision). interestingly melodramatic while never losing even a momentary grip on its naturalistic intent, this film is a pure joy, intellectually and emotionally, to watch. the acting, on every side, in particular the five excellent women who play the modern-day geishas, is perfection. a must-see.
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