Japan 2021

Sansho the Bailiff

Sansho Dayu

One of the greatest of all Japanese films, and a masterpiece of humanist cinema.

Image from Sansho the Bailiff

Japan 1954
Dir Kenji Mizoguchi
With Kinuyo Tanaka, Yoshiaki Hanayagi, Kyôko Kagawa, Eitarô Shindô
English subtitles
Certificate PG

Among the greatest of all Japanese films, and a shining example of humanist cinema, Mizoguchi’s historical epic charts the vicissitudes faced by the family of a liberal governor who offends authority. The serene beauty of the imagery offsets the often painful drama in a work of noble ideals, superbly acted and elegantly shot, with one of the most breathtaking endings ever filmed.