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Ugetsu monogatari (1953)

Kenji Mizoguchi, Japan

In his masterpiece Ugetsu monogatari the Japanese Kenji Mizoguchi tells the story of Genjuro, a potter, and his brother-in-law, the farmer Tobei. The two live with their wives in a small village in the middle of a war-torn area. And they have ambitions that take advantage of the turmoil of war. Genjuro wants to travel to the city with his pots and earn a lot of money as quickly as possible. Tobei wants to achieve fame and honor as a Samurai. Both risk everything - and lose. The pursuit of money and fame, Mizoguchi makes clear here, inevitably involves the loss of inner values. Genjuro and Tobei set out on a path that leads them further and further away from themselves, following their dreams and phantoms and not the traces of reality. On the way, on that grandiose boat passage, death drives past them like a phantom - they don't know how to interpret the sign correctly. And so death becomes reality. Genjuro later pursues a love that he considers to be more genuine and stronger than that of his own wife left at home. Love, however, turns out to be a phantom, the ghost of a long faded princess.

Duration
97 minutes
Language
OV Japanese
Subtitles
german, french
Video Quality
480p
Available in
Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Liechtenstein
Kenji Mizoguchi
Sansho Dayu - Sanshi the Bailiff (1954)
Kenji Mizoguchi
Japan
125′
Sansho Dayu is a film about a couple of children from a rich house at the end of the 12th century who fall into the hands of the bailiff. He owes his reputation as an exemplary feudal lord to the merciless exploitation of his slave army. Mizoguchi fluently tells this old legend of need and revenge in beautiful pictures.
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Akasen Chitai - Street of Shame (1956)
Kenji Mizoguchi
Japan
86′
Five fates of women from Tokyo's brothel district in the 1950s are the focus of Kenji Mizoguchi's last film, who devoted the majority of his works to the historical and social situation of Japanese women. The theme is shaped by socio-critical commitment, human sympathy and unspeculative openness.
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