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Die Schwestern von Gion

祇園の姉妹 | Gion no shimai

Japan, 1936

Darum geht's

The independent, unsentimental Omocha and her sister, the more tradition-minded Umekichi, are both geishas in the working-class district of Gion. Mizoguchi’s film is an uncompromising look at the forces that keep many women at the bottom rung of the social ladder.

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Die Schwestern von Gion Regie Kenji Mizoguchi


Mizoguchi builds psychological tension through his use of long takes, saving close-ups for moments of portent or heightened emotion—as in the final shot, which shows his headstrong young victim of Japan’s clash between modernism and tradition down but still fighting mad.
August 02, 2013
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From its long opening tracking shot of a mansion where a bankrupt family’s goods are being auctioned off to the final, harrowing climax, Mizoguchi’s tale of two geisha sisters – one rebelling against her fate at the hands of fickle men, the other more conservative and accepting – is a bleak, enormously astute and affecting account of the physical, emotional and economic entrapment of women in traditional Japanese society.
January 01, 1990
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The masterpiece of Kenji Mizoguchi’s prewar period, a subtle and compact film (1936) that locates Mizoguchi’s concern with the transitions of Japanese society in a conflict between two geisha sisters…
January 01, 1980
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