Shin Heike Monogatari

  • Film
  • Drama
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One of Mizoguchi's two late films in colour, this describes a conflict between three power groups in feudal Japan: the priests, the court, and a clan of samurai. The samurai embody ideals of individual integrity, just service, and male prowess; the court, ideals of rightful authority, but equally, the faults of ministerial corruption; the clerics, the degeneration of institutionalised religion into factional Fascism (gang-like violence in support of political ends). Characteristically, the tale of the conflict is hinged round a courtesan figure's relations with the three groups ('mother' for the samurai, 'mistress' for the court, 'whore' for the priests). Needless to say, the 'personal' virtues of the samurai win out, the hero becomes superman. Shot with all the sensitivity and stylish trappings to be expected from Mizoguchi; also, some sharp observation of social relations, and some acute insights into the vagaries of the power boys' shit-games. JDuC.

Release details

Rated: PG
Duration: 107 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Kenji Mizoguchi
Screenwriter: Masashige Narusawa, Yoshikata Yoda, Kyuichi Tsuji
Cast: Yoshiko Kuga
Tatsuya Ishiguro
Michiyo Kogure
Eijiro Yanagi
Ichijiro Oya
Raizo Ichikawa
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