Sansho The Bailiff
Director: Mizoguchi Kenji
Script: Yoshikata Yoda, Fuji Yahiro, after Ogai Mori's novel
Cinematographer: Kazuo Miyagawa
Editing: Mitsuzo Miyata
Art Setting: Hisakazu Tsuji
Music: Fumio Hayasaka, Tamekichi Mochizuki et Kanahichi Odera
Cast: Kinuyo Tanaka, Kyōko Kagawa, Eitaro Shindo, Yoshiaki Hanayagi, Ichiro Sugai
Production: Daiei Films
35 mm, B & W, 124 min,
O.V. Japanese with French Subtitles
Golden Lion Venise Film Festival 1956
Part of Japonism 2018
Japan, 12th century. 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 and sister, Anju 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 as slaves. 10 years later, Zushio becomes hardened by the brutality that has become their lot, but his sister does everything to avoid him becoming like Sansho. Anju learns her mother could still be alive and she prepares an invasion for Zushio…
The movie brought Japanese Cinema to the attention of Western critics and film-makers.
Silver Lion for Best Direction in the 15th Venice International Film Festival, in 1954, ex aequo with Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai.