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Straits of Love and Hate
(Aien kyo)

Screening on Film
Directed by Kenji Mizoguchi.
With Fumiko Yamaji, Masao Shimizu.
Japan, 1937, 35mm, black & white, 108 min.
Japanese with English subtitles.

Long unavailable in any form, Straits of Love and Hate is one of Mizoguchi’s key Thirties’ films, among the first to offer the theater as a critical expression of the performative, sexist and constricting roles enforced by Japanese society and almost vengefully upon women. In his third collaboration with Yoshitaka Yoda, Mizoguchi loosely adapted Tolstoy’s Resurrection, a recurrent source of Japanese silent films, into a story of a servant girl whose life is upturned by her doomed love for a spineless young man. Breaking from other similarly patterned Mizoguchi films, the heroine of Straits of Love and Hate openly rebels against the downfall that she nevertheless cannot prevent, lashing out at the men and society who have taken such cruel advantage of her.

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The Tales and Tragedies of Kenji Mizoguchi

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