Street of Shame
(Akasen chitai)

Donald Ritchie in Person
Screening on Film
Directed by Kenji Mizoguchi.
With Machiko Kyo, Aiko Mimasu, Ayako Wakao.
Japan, 1956, 35mm, black & white, 87 min.

In his last film, Mizoguchi once again sympathetically presents the problems of women struggling under the constraints of a patriarchal society. In Dreamland, a contemporary Tokyo brothel, prostitutes use different approaches to try to survive their difficult lives inside and outside the brothel, while the people around them debate whether or not politicians should pass anti-prostitution legislation. Though ultimately quite pessimistic, with an unforgettably tragic final shot, the film is credited in part with prompting the passing of an anti-prostitution bill in Japan.

Part of film series

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Melodrama Mondays

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Eight Weeks of Film History: 1940 - 1959

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The Tales and Tragedies of Kenji Mizoguchi