Victory of Women | Chicago Reader

Victory of Women

This 1946 Kenji Mizoguchi work, his first during the American occupation, represents an interesting and somewhat unusual confluence of sensibilities in that, instead of using his regular scenarist Yoshikata Yoda, Mizoguchi worked from an original screenplay by Ozu's usual scenarist, Kogo Noda, and Mizo's assistant (and future writer-director) Kaneto Shindo. Kinuyo Tanaka stars as a determined female attorney with radical connections whose boyfriend is languishing in a prison hospital. She undertakes the defense of a woman (Mitsuko Miura) who is on trial for murdering her own baby, in despair over postwar destitution. Mizoguchi deliberately ends the story before the verdict is rendered; his concentration is on his characters and their commitments, not on outcomes. With Michiko Kuwano, who died shortly after the filming. This started a loose trilogy dubbed “Fighting Women,” followed by The Love of Sumako the Actress and My Love Has Been Burning.

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