The Lady of Musashino
(Musashino Fujin)

Screening on Film
Directed by Kenji Mizoguchi.
With Kinuyo Tanaka, Masayuki Mori, Yukiko Todoroki.
Japan, 1951, 35mm, black & white, 88 min.
Japanese with English subtitles.

Mizoguchi offered a unflattering portrait of postwar Japan as a festering den of immorality and deceit in this dark melodrama about a woman trapped in a loveless marriage to a burnt out university professor and lecherous womanizer. Kinuyo Tanaka burns with a growing anger as the eponymous The Lady of Musashino who observes the corrosive decay of her relationship mirrored in her extended family and the incestuous love triangles that gradually emerge. Each sordid twist of Mizoguchi and Yoda’s, fascinating narrative cries out with anger against the moral depravity of a shell-shocked and disoriented society.

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