Sanshō-dayū

山大夫 - Sanshō-dayū

Sansho the bailiff

DVD - 2007 | Japanese
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When an idealistic governor disobeys the reigning feudal lord, he is cast into exile, his wife and children left to fend for themselves and eventually parted by vicious slave drivers.
Publisher: [Irvington, N.Y.] : Criterion Collection ; Chatsworth, Calif. : Image Entertainment [distributor], [2007]
ISBN: 9781934121474
1934121479
Branch Call Number: JAPANESE DVD SANSHO
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (124 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in. + 1 booklet (77 pages : illustrations ; 19 cm.)
Language Note: In Japanese with optional English subtitles
Alternative Title: Sansho the bailiff

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lukasevansherman
May 06, 2015

Beautifully directed, emotionally devastating tale of a family torn apart in feudal Japan. The title character is not the protagonist, but a brutal slave master who runs a manor where a former governor's two children are forced to work after being taken from their mother. I'd compare to some of Bresson's films ("Mouchette," "Au Hazard Balthazar") in its ability to wipe you out, but director Kenji MIzoguchi isn't afraid of bigger, rawer emotional moments. One of the saddest films I've ever seen. Other important Mizoguchi films are "Ugetsu," "Life of Oharu," and "Street of Shame."

i
i_am
May 10, 2014

Based on an ancient Japanese legend, 'Sansho, the Bailiff' is an unforgettable story of social injustice, family love, personal sacrifice and immense tragedy. Set in 11th century Japan, it follows an aristocratic woman and her two children whose lives follow very different paths as they are separated. A stark reminder of man's inhumanity to man, 'Sansho, the Bailiff' is one of the most critically revered of all Japanese films and is a supreme work of art that delivers the lesson 'Without mercy, man is like a beast'.

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