Widely regarded as one of the greatest films ever made, Life of Oharu is Kenji Mizoguchi's (Ugetsu, Sansho the Bailiff) self-proclaimed masterpiece. Known for his graceful directorial style and sympathetic portrayal of women, Mizoguchi risked all to tell the devastating story of one woman's fall from lady-in-waiting to concubine to prostitute. Avoiding melodrama, Mizoguchi focuses on Oharu's dignity as she is betrayed repeatedly by her father, her lovers, and society. Saikaku Ihara's classic 17th-century novel is brilliantly realized through a masterful screenplay and the heart-rending performance of Kinuyo Tanaka (Sansho the Bailiff). The film, which won top honors at the Venice Film Festival, earned Mizoguchi worldwide recognition and new artistic freedom as a director.
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