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The Famous Sword Bijomaru
(Meito Bijomaru)

Screening on Film
Directed by Kenji Mizoguchi.
With Isuzu Yamada, Shotaro Hanayagi, Ichijiro Oya.
Japan, 1945, 35mm, black & white, 65 min.
Japanese with English subtitles.

A fascinating propaganda piece made at the very end of the Second World War, The Famous Sword Bijomaru is a supernatural fantasy about swordsmiths whose devotion to the Emperor gives a magical gleam and power to their weapons. The high point of Mizoguchi’s short film is an extended sword fight between the vengeful spirit of an aristocratic woman and the samurai who betrayed her.

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The Tales and Tragedies of Kenji Mizoguchi

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Devour the Land: Cinema, landscape, history.