The Lower Depths

It's difficult to get too worked up these days over Gorky's classic proletarian drama (one of the showpieces of Stanislavsky realism) about the human flotsam washed up in a Moscow dosshouse and living on illusions: very much of its period in its sturdy affirmation of life amid deprivation and degradation, it has dated as awkwardly as most social documents. But Kurosawa's very faithful transplant to the Tokyo slums, prerehearsed and shot with three cameras in long takes, makes astonishingly skilful use of space within the constricted main set (there are in fact only two), and is fascinating simply as a tour de force. Marvellous performances, too, mining a rich vein of ironic humour amid all the misery.

Release details

Duration: 137 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Screenwriter: Akira Kurosawa, Hideo Oguni
Cast: Toshiro Mifune
Isuzu Yamada
Ganjiro Nakamura
Kyoko Kagawa
Bokuzen Hidari
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