Japan film school 1954 bw 124 min.
Director: Kenji Mizoguchi
CLV: Though not currently available, this title may be returning at a later date.
2 discs, catalog # CC1375L

VHS: available from Home Vision Cinema

When a provincial governor is sent into exile, his devoted family journeys across feudal Japan to join him. Along the way, they are kidnapped and separated. The wife resorts to prostitution to survive; the children are interred in a labor camp by the tyrannical Sansho. Years later, the son seeks to reunite his family and overthrow Sansho's evil reign.This compelling film by director Kenji Mizoguchi features realistic sets that accurately recreate 11th-century Japan; the film even had a special "consultant on ancient architecture" on the crew!

Criterion's special edition includes:

  • New subtitles commissioned by Terrence Malick for his stage adaptation of the film
  • Historical background on feudal Japan, Buddhism, and Japanese film in the '50s
  • The 14th-century legend and subsequent story adaptation on which the film is based
  • A Mizoguchi filmography
  • Commentary by film scholar Thomas Gunning

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