Sisters of Gion
Time Out saysFrom its long opening tracking shot of a mansion where a bankrupt family's goods are being auctioned off to the final, harrowing climax, Mizoguchi's tale of two geisha sisters - one rebelling against her fate at the hands of fickle men, the other more conservative and accepting - is a bleak, enormously astute and affecting account of the physical, emotional and economic entrapment of women in traditional Japanese society. Even strength, cunning and determination can't, it seems, overcome patriarchal power and pure chance. Superbly acted, shot and scripted, this is searing stuff. (Based on AI Krupin's novel The Abyss.