This 1954 Kenji Mizoguchi film belongs to the director’s greatest period, and if it isn’t quite the equal in refinement and transcendent feeling of the films that surround it (Sansho the Bailiff and Ugetsu) it is still a stimulating work of art, executing some intriguing changes on Mizoguchi’s standard plotline. Not only is there a woman who sacrifices herself for a worthless man, but there is also an ungrateful daughter who herself falls in love with the treacherous lover. The setting is Mizoguchi’s beloved geisha district, which he envisions as a self-sufficient community of women, the sole refuge from vicious, hurtful male society.