DVD The Life of Oharu [DVD] (DVD 16393780),
back to browsing

The Life of Oharu [DVD]

  • NR
  • DVD
  • 1 disc
  • Region 1 USA/CA (info)
  • The first film of director Kenji Mizoguchi's great mid-1950s period, THE LIFE OF OHARU won the International Prize at Venice in 1952, catapulting him onto the international scene after more than 30 years of filmmaking. The film, set in Japan during the 17th-century Genroku era, is based on a well-known picaresque novel by Ihara Saikaku. Starring Kinuyo Tanaka as the title character, the story has been transformed by Mizoguchi into the tragic tale of an aged courtesan recounting her life in a series of extended flashbacks. The most beautiful woman at the imperial court, Oharu begins an unlawful love affair with lower-class page Katsunosuke (Toshir Mifune). When the couple's transgression is uncovered by the authorities, they quickly exile Oharu and her family and behead the young page. Shonzaemon (Ichiro Sugai), Oharu's father, angered by the shame his daughter has brought upon the family, sells her to the local warlord to fill the degrading role of concubine and bear him a child. After the child is born, she returns to her father, who then sells her to a geisha house, as her life continues in an inexorable downward spiral. The heroine's unrelieved suffering is transformed into a sacred ritual of stoicism by some of the most sublime photography in all of Japanese film. The crabbing (oblique tracking) shots alone are arguably the most beautiful in the history of cinema. Although some prefer UGETSU, Mizoguchi considered this to be his finest film.
  • Credits
    Toshiro Mifune, Toshir Mifune, Kinuyo Tanaka
  • Critic Reviews
    "With ravishing black-and-white cinematography and an austere formality in the direction..."

    "THE LIFE OF OHARU was the film that gave the Japanese helmer a belated international reputation."
    Total Film

    "[A] heartbreaking tale of a 17th-century courtesan....It has enormous emotional impact..."
    Sight and Sound

0 Stars 0 average rating
In Stock -- Item Ships for FREE
Our price $22.26
Add to wishlist

What viewers like you said...

Have you seen this movie? Be the first to write a review

Also suggested for you...

  • buy now for


  • buy now for


  • buy now for


  • buy now for