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.
A speech twice told in the film, underlined by Mizoguchi's always interesting staging, reflects a devastating, slow, and all consuming hostility that permeates Mizoguchi's cinema. Along with a particularly surreal and evocative soundtrack, Mizoguchi's last film is not his best, though it reflects a masterful filmmaker at the height of his abilities.
I think that the scene where Yumeko meets her son outside the factory is one of the most painful moments I have ever seen on film. It is truly amazing how Mizoguchi manages to make the audience feel so much with the characters. Not many directors end their career with such a great film. Respect.