Women of the Night
(Yoru no Onnatachi)

Screening on Film
Directed by Kenji Mizoguchi.
With Kinuyo Tanaka, Tomie Tsunoda, Sanae Takasugi.
Japan, 1948, 35mm, black & white, 75 min.
Japanese with English subtitles.

Osaka’s Shinsekai district, the seedy headquarters of the yakuza underworld, comes alive in Mizoguchi’s searing indictment of prostitution as a stark injustice to woman and an emblem of a dark malaise at the heart of postwar Japan. For its stylistic rawness and anger Women of the Night is distinguished from Mizoguchi’s other collaborations with screenwriter Yoshitaka Yoda, most especially for its hard-edged use of Osaka street dialect, scenes of savage violence, and the Italian neo-realist inspired war-scarred locations that mirror the deep instability of social institutions described so powerfully by the film’s dark melodrama of victimized women.

Part of program

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The Tales and Tragedies of Kenji Mizoguchi

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Ozu 120: The Complete Ozu Yasujiro