The Love of Sumako, the Actress
(Joyu Sumako no Koi)

Screening on Film
Directed by Kenji Mizoguchi.
With Kinuyo Tanaka, So Yamamura.
Japan, 1947, 16mm, black & white, 95 min.
Japanese with English subtitles.

In response to the call by the US Occupation heads for films exploring democratic ideals, Mizoguchi offered a spirited bio-pic of the pioneering actress Sumako Matsui, famous for her championing of Western style acting techniques and the scandalous love affair that troubled her career. The trio of Mizoguchi, Tanaka and Yoda once again sculpted the figure of a fascinating and strong-willed woman struggling to make her voice heard yet pulled by dark fate and doomed love. The Love of Sumako, the Actress nevertheless sounds a note of cautious optimism, by declaring a certain victory won by the determined actresses whose modern approach to acting Tanaka literally and so powerfully embodies.

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