Synopsis by Clarke Fountain
This groundbreaking study in social criticism was made by one of the earliest revolutionaries in Japanese filmmaking, Kenji Misoguchi (1898-1956), who pioneered the use of realistic characters and situations in films made in his homeland. Misoguchi was a great advocate of women's rights during his lifetime, and many of his films dealt with women's issues. In the story, which is set in 1884, a former schoolteacher working with the Liberal Party for women's rights finds herself falsely imprisoned when she tries to help a woman millhand who was raped, and she attempts to burn down the mill in protest. Only becoming well-known in the West some 30 years later, this 1949 film was strongly protested at the time it was made, not only for its violence, but for its social commentary.
execution, false-accusation, feminism, imprisonment, rape, teacher, women's-issues