Sansho the Bailiff

Sansho the Bailiff (1954)

Sansho the Bailiff
8.7/10 by 79 users

In medieval Japan a compassionate governor is sent into exile. His wife and children try to join him, but are separated, and the children grow up amid suffering and oppression.

Original Title:山椒大夫
Release Date:March 31, 1954
Production Company:Daiei Studios
Production Countries:Japan
Director:Kenji Mizoguchi, Tokuzô Tanaka
Writers:, ,
Casts:, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Plot Keywords:japan, courtesan, song, exile, banishment, governor, independent film, prostitution, compassion, decree, mercy
  • A timeless masterpiece
    September 24, 2007

    The first time I saw this film was when I was in university. It impressed me greatly then. Watching it again recently invoked the same emotion - I was deeply saddened by the horrific acts one human can do to the other. And guess what, a century later the human race has not really advanced that much in this area.

    While the film also highlights the noble side of us - compassion and mercy to the weak, maintenance of integrity amid suffering - it is the downside of it that gets me. I finished the movie feeling depressed, as I did several decades ago.

    Super B/W photography, a good story, and masterly directing by Mizoguchi make this a classic film of all time. Find an evening when you yearn for artistic fulfillment, and yet are prepared to pay an emotional price for it. Highly recommended for the serious film buffs.