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Published on May 14, 2007
"This final view of Ayako is the most powerful image in the film, and is often cited as one of the most absorbing images in Mizoguchi's oeuvre. The image of Ayako staring into the camera and walking off, into the unknown, leaves the final outcome of the film open to viewer interpretation. However, one cannot resist the thought that her future will ultimately be bleak." Jason Dow
"Mizoguchi has been dubbed Japan's first "feminist" director -- the women in his films are central, he sculpts their characters with deep empathy, and he allows them a full range of emotions which give them the breadth of complex humanity, not the one-sidedness of mere martyrs or objects of love. Additionally, he directs his leading actresses, especially Yamada Isuzu, stellar here as the truly unfortunate Ayako, to transcendent performances." Michael Price