Sansho The Bailiff (Blu-ray Disc)

by Criterion Collection
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ITEM# 14972954
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    Details

    ITEM#: 14972954

    This stunning Kenji Mizoguchi masterpiece reaches back to a Japanese folk tale of the 12th century to depict the barbarism of "a dark age, when people didn't know how to be human." The film stars Yoshiaki Hanayagi as Zushio, the young son of a provincial governor Masauji Taira (Masao Shimizu). A man of outstanding compassion and probity, he impresses on his son the notion that "without mercy, a man is not a man." When the governor's attempts to protect the rights of regional farmers clash with the goals of the feudal regime, he's sent into exile, and forced to leave his family behind. A few years later Zushio, his mother, Tamaki (Kinuyo Tanaki), and sister, Anju (Kyoko Kagawa), begin a long journey to reunite with Masauji, only to be waylaid be kidnappers en route. The bandits sell Tamaki to a brothel on an isolated island and the children to corrupt official Sansho (Eitaro Shindo) as slaves. As the years pass, Anju lapses into passivity while Zushio becomes hardened by the brutality that has become their lot. One day, while escorting a dying slave outside the confines of their camp, they plan an escape. In what may be his finest film, the director again uses the great cinematographer Kazuo Miyagawa (UGETSU), shooting scenes of the most intense emotion from a distance in long, magnificently composed sequence takes, suggesting the transience of all worldly suffering, and fulfilling the Nabokovian dictum of art as "beauty plus compassion."

    Specs

    UPC 715515102315
    Studio Criterion
    Format Blu-ray Disc
    Extra Info Criterion Collection
    Genre Drama/Foreign Video - Japanese
    Rating Not Rated
    Dimensions 5.5" x 0.6" x 6.85" WxHxD
    Weight 0.5 lbs
    Stars Kinuyo Tanaka, Yoshiaki Hanayagi, Eitaro Shindo, Kyoko Kagawa
    Directors Kenji Mizoguchi
    Country of Origin United States

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