Archive of films Street of Shame / Akasen chitai

Japan
1956, 85 min

Section: Tribute to Kenji Mizoguchi
Year: 2017

In a series of interwoven storylines, the film explores the lives of the women who work in a brothel, from the mother who’s trying to support her child and sick husband and the man-eater who’s looking for a rich husband, to the young novice who’s terrified by the prospect of selling herself. The film’s up-to-date sociology is underlined by the electronic score from modernist composer Mayuzumi Toshiro, providing a tonality that’s new in Mizoguchi’s work.


Synopsis

Mizoguchi’s last completed film couldn’t have been more timely: a bill to outlaw brothels was being debated in the Japanese parliament as the film was being made, and it’s mentioned more than once in the film’s dialogue. In a series of interwoven storylines, the film explores the lives of the women who work in the Dreamland brothel in the back streets of Tokyo’s Yoshiwara district, from the mother who’s trying to support her child and sick husband and the man-eater who’s looking for a rich husband, to the young novice who’s terrified by the prospect of selling herself. The film’s up-to-date sociology is underlined by the electronic score from modernist composer Mayuzumi Toshiro, providing a tonality that’s new in Mizoguchi’s work. The ensemble cast, featuring several regulars from Mizoguchi’s time at Daiei, includes some of Japan’s most distinguished actresses. Mizoguchi died of leukemia five months after the premiere.

Tony Rayns

Contacts

The Japan Foundation
4-16-3 Yotsuya, Shinjuku-ku, 160-0004, Tokyo
Japan
Tel: +81 355 623 535
Fax: +81 355 623 500
E-mail: film_tv_and_publication_division@jpf.go.jp, film@jpf.go.jp
www: www.jpf.go.jp

Kadokawa Corporation
1-8-19 Fujimi, Chiyoda-ku, 102-8078, Tokyo
Japan
Tel: +81 368 931 625
E-mail: okada-w@kadokawa.jp

About the film

Black & white, 35 mm

Section: Tribute to Kenji Mizoguchi
   
Director: Kenji Mizoguchi
Screenplay: Masashige Narusawa podle románu / based on the novel Susaki no Onna by Yoshiko Shibaki
Dir. of Photography: Kazuo Miyagawa
Music: Toshiro Mayuzumi
Editor: Kanji Suganuma
Art Director: Hiroshi Mizutani
Producer: Masaichi Nagata
Production: Daiei, Kyoto
Cast: Machiko Kyo, Ayako Wakao, Aiko Mimasu, Michiyo Kogure, Eitaro Shindo
Sales: Kadokawa Corporation
Contact: The Japan Foundation
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