The Lower Depths

Tuesday, March 18th 2008 at 18h00
L’Ariel Mont-Saint Aignan


The Lower Depths (Donzoko)

(Feature film, Japan, 1957, 137’, Black and white, OVFST)


Directed by: Akira Kurosawa
With: Toshiro Mifune, Isuzu Yamada…
Produced by: Toho Company (Tokyo)


In the neighborhoods isolated from Tokyo of 1860s.
In a slum flophouse, a collection of beggars and thieves bewail their lot in life, and Osugi, the landlady, fights with her sister, Okayo, over the man they both desire, the thief Sutekichi.

“In Donzoko Kurosawa gives us an adaptation that is both faithful to the original play and inventive in its transformation of the story to a Japanese context and in the mastery of cinematic form that gives expression to that story. It’s a demonstration of Kurosawa at the height of his powers — which makes it unfortunate to add that the film (perhaps because of its faithfulness) ultimately is also a little dull: it does seem a long 125 minutes.”
Ian Johnston