Sisters Of The Gion (Gion no shimai)

“1936 may be considered the year when, in a Japanese film world ruled by sentimentalism and heroism, realism came into its own. The evidence is Kenji Mizoguchi's film Sisters Of The Gion.” --Akira Shimizu.

In telling the story of two sisters, both geisha in the Gion entertainment district of Kyoto, Mizoguchi strips away the romantic veneer of the geisha business, both in the story and in a stark visual style that capitalizes on the narrow alleyways and shuttered windows of the Gion. Of the two sisters, the elder is trapped in her allegiance to the traditional ways of the geisha, while the younger is cynical and rebellious. However, in the end, neither can truly escape her predicament.

This page may by only partially complete. For additional information about this film, view the original entry on our archived site.