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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gion Bayashi is no mere filler either, 13 Dec. 2007
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This review is from: Sansho Dayu/Gion Bayashi [Masters of Cinema] [1953] [1954] [DVD] (DVD)
I bought this for the justly famous Sansho Dayu, and knew nothing about the "B side" Gion Bayashi. This latter film is in fact well worth the price by itself. Kogure Michiyo as Miyoharu, the elder geisha, is mesmerising and the film packs an astonishing slow-burn punch (if there is such a concept). It's got a lot of interest on a purely cultural level, with all the geisha stuff, and is as visually beautiful as you'd expect from the director of Ugetsu. But what knocks you flat is the power of Miyoharu's story: an abused woman vastly the moral superior of everyone around her, with that extraordinary, apparently passive, strength of so many of the classic Japanese heroines.
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