Mizoguchi somehow balances the political with insane emotional power. This is at once realism, a document of five sex workers getting by in an era of immense change, and a crushing melodrama about women in impossible situations. It’s electric and quite the film to go out on!
Whoever called this the best film ever may well have been right in his assessment. Terrific score. Mizoguchi at his best. Good commentary by Tony Rayns on the Masters of Cinema BD also. This film enamored me, it made me put myself in the position of almost every character, reaching depth without trying hard. The radio news voiceover reminds me of some Fassbinder movies, such as Lola and The Marriage of Maria Braun.
Mizoguchi’s final film was about a brothel named Dreamland in Tokyo, and while most of his films were related to Geishas and prostitutes, Street of Shame was the standout to me as it focused on multiple characters and gave a brought overview of their lives. Not just the bad, but also the general. If anything it reflects on how society’s rejection was their biggest hardship.
Un excellent film social et humain du grand Mizoguchi dont ce fut hélas la dernière oeuvre. Tout en dénonçant avec âpreté et sans aucune concession le problème tragique de la prostitution, le film reste un somptueux hymne à la libération de la femme... www.cinefiches.com
This is a deeply tragic film. These women suffer not only as the victims of unfortunate circumstances (i.e. poverty, illness, neglect), but as victims of their own unattainable dreams which are callously tossed aside by a cruelly indifferent world. With each glimmer of hope of clinging to some semblance of dignity society deals another blow. With each dissolve they plunge deeper into resignation.