Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Sight & Sound Challenge: Sansho the Bailiff (1954)

Film: Sansho the Bailiff (153/250) 
First Time/Rewatch: First Time

This film was a punch to the gut. First of all, I don't know why it's called Sansho the Bailiff as Sansho is a side character and it ultimately isn't his story at all. It should be called The Most Depressing Movie of All Time or How To Cry Forever. It's devastating, but beautiful. It's a story of two siblings whose father is exiled, and they are separated from their mother and sold into slavery. And that's just the first 25 minutes. Really! I like this quote from The New Yorker film critic Anthony Lane: "I have seen Sansho only once, a decade ago, emerging from the cinema a broken man but calm in my conviction that I had never seen anything better; I have not dared watch it again, reluctant to ruin the spell, but also because the human heart was not designed to weather such an ordeal." That just about sums it up. A tragic tale of love and loss, of hopelessness and perseverance, of courage and defeat. My human heart definitely can't handle it. 

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