Melbourne Cinémathèque The Melbourne Cinémathèque & ACMI present

Women of the Night

Unclassified 15+ Scroll to content

Kenji Mizoguchi’s often blistering and bracingly neo-realistic drama is a candid and compassionate portrait of women at the bottom of the social pile struggling to make ends meet amongst the devastation of post-war Japan. Based on Eijiro Hisaita’s contemporaneous novel, and shot in Osaka’s notorious Shinsekai district, it follows the trials and tribulations of two sisters whose lives are torn apart by the forces of poverty and exploitation. More immediate than many of Mizoguchi’s other films, it features a towering central performance by Kinuyo Tanaka as the tenacious sister who loses her husband in the war as well as her child to tuberculosis.