A Story from Chikamatsu
Kazuo Hasegawa, Kyoko Kagawa, Eitaro Shindo,
This is the story of an illicit love between a merchant’s wife and her husband’s servant in the days when the punishment for adultery was crucifixion. Here Kenji Mizoguchi is at his most painterly, particularly in the two processions that frame the film, and in the lovers’ flight from their pursuers. Monzaemon Chikamatsu’s seventeenth-century puppet play was based on an actual event, which also served as the basis for a story by Saikaku that provides many of the film’s most important elements, but Mizoguchi and screenwriter Yoshikata Yoda made significant departures from their famous sources.