Sansho the Bailiff
(Sansho dayu)

Screening on Film
Directed by Kenji Mizoguchi.
With Eitaro Shindo, Kinuyo Tanaka.
Japan, 1954, 35mm, black & white, 120 min.
Japanese with English subtitles.
Print source: Janus Films

An intensely lyrical, uncompromising study of tragedy and psychic degradation, Sansho the Bailiff is among Mizoguchi’s great masterpieces. The story, set in eleventh-century Japan, concerns a mother and her two children, who are kidnapped and sold into slavery. After a decade of subjugation the son sets out about deposing the cruel bailiff who brought tragedy upon his family.

Part of film series

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Masterworks of World Cinema

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The Perverted Desires of Slavoj Zizek

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The Tales and Tragedies of Kenji Mizoguchi

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Kinuyo Tanaka—Actress, Director, Pioneer