|Notes ||First printing 2008. |
Over the course of a three-decade, more than eighty film career, master cineaste Kenji Mizoguchi (Ugetsu, Sansho the Bailiff) would return again and again to one abiding theme: the plight of women in Japanese society. In these four lacerating works of social consciousness—two prewar (Osaka Elegy, Sisters of the Gion), two postwar (Women of the Night, Street of Shame)—Mizoguchi introduces an array of compelling female protagonists, crushed or resilient, who are forced by their conditions and culture into compromising positions. With Mizoguchi’s visual daring and eloquence, these films are as cinematically thrilling as they are politically rousing.