The Life of Oharu

Film, Action and adventure

Time Out says

This chronicle of the decline of a woman, from service in the imperial court of 17th-century Japan through exile, concubinage and numerous stages of prostitution, should further enhance Mizoguchi's reputation as the cinema's greatest ever director of women, and one of the most meticulous craftsmen of the period film. To place too much emphasis on the period setting is misleading, however; for despite the historical distance from feudal Japan, the social evils exposed have an unmistakable contemporary relevance. Feminists should unequivocally applaud the narrative simplicity and the clarity with which the second-class status of women is implicitly questioned almost everywhere in the film. It's also an extremely elegant movie whichever way you look at it: tiny details of movement by the actors, beautiful compositions and photography throughout, single fluid takes often serving to state a whole scene.

By: RM


Release details

148 mins

Cast and crew

Kenji Mizoguchi
Kenji Mizoguchi, Yoda Yoshikata
Ichiro Sugai
Tashiaki Konoe
Masao Shinizu
Tsuki Matsura
Toshiro Mifune
Kinuyo Tanaka
You may also like