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Sansho the Bailiff

Sansho the Bailiff

Kinuyo Tanaka
Director: Kenji Mizoguchi Cast: Kinuyo Tanaka
Kinuyo Tanaka
, Kyoko Kagawa
Kyoko Kagawa
, Eitaro Shindo
Eitaro Shindo
Kenji Mizoguchi

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Kenji Mizoguchi's masterpiece opens in 11th century Japan with an aristocratic woman named Tamaki traveling through the woods with her daughter Anju, son Zushio, and her maid. Through flashbacks, we learn that her husband, Taira Masauji, was a local governor who was exiled because of his honesty and integrity. Before he leaves, he gives his son an amulet of Kannon, the goddess of mercy, and tells him, "Without mercy, man is like a beast. Men are created equal, everyone is entitled to happiness." On their journey to reunite with their husband/father, they are ambushed by kidnappers, who sell the mother as a prostitute and the two children as slaves to the corrupt Sansho (Eitaro Shindo). As adults, Zushio (Yoshiaki Hanayagi) and his sister Anju (Kyoko Kagawa) continue to toil as servants. Anju learns that her mother has become a courtesan on the remote island of Sado. Though Zushio has become Sansho's most trusted and brutal aide, he manages to escape at Anju's behest. He finds sanctuary at a local monastery while Anju, looking to avoid the inevitably violent retribution, drowns herself in a lake. Seeking justice, Zushio petitions the chief advisor, a desperate act that usually results in imprisonment or death. Yet his pleas prove more successful than he ever dreamed. When he finally has the power to thwart evil Sansho and reunify his family, he learns that he is tragically too late.

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Product Details

Release Date: 02/26/2013
UPC: 0715515102315
Original Release: 1954
Source: Criterion Collection
Region Code: A
Presentation: [B&W]
Sound: [Dolby Digital Mono]
Time: 2:04:00
Sales rank: 11,828

Special Features

Audio Commentary Featuring Japanese-Literature Scholar Jeffrey Angles; Interviews With Critic Tadao Sato, Assistant Director Tokuzo Tanaka, And Actress Kyoko Kagawa On The Making Of The Film And Its Lasting Importance

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Kinuyo Tanaka Tamaki
Kyoko Kagawa Anju
Eitaro Shindo Sansho
Yoshiaki Hanayagi Zushio
Ichiro Sugai Minister of Justice
Masahiko Tsugawa Zushio as a Boy
Akitake Kono Taro
Masao Shimizu Masauji Taira
Ken Mitsuda Prime Minister Morozane Fujiwara
Chieko Naniwa Ubatake
Kikue Mori Priestess
Ryosuke Kagawa Ritsushi Kumotake

Technical Credits
Kenji Mizoguchi Director
Fumio Hayasaka Score Composer
Kisaku Ito Art Director
Kazuo Miyagawa Cinematographer
Mitsuji Miyata Editor
Tamekichi Mochizuki Score Composer
Masaichi Nagata Producer
Kannahichi Odera Score Composer
Fuji Yahiro Screenwriter
Yoshikata Yoda Screenwriter

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