Life of Oharu

  • Dir: Mizoguchi Kenji

  • Japan, 1952, 136min, 35mm

  • Cast: Tanaka Kiunyo, Yamane Hisako, Mifune Toshiro

Roger Ebert called this “the saddest film I have ever seen about the life of a woman.” And yet there is a wondrous dignity and poignancy in the flashbacks that tell the story of the prostitute Oharu, as the film chronicles three decades of travails that begin when an aristocratic girl falls in love with a lowly page, destroying both their lives. Exploited by her father, she becomes mistress, courtesan and common prostitute, with hope snatched away by cruelest fates. Oharu’s epic sadness fills the screen and captures our heart.

1952 Venice Film Festival, International Award
#9 in 1952 Kinema Junpo’s Top 10



1. Unless otherwise stated, all films (except English-speaking films) are subtitled in English.

2. For screenings at ALL commercial cinemas, tickets are available at URBTIX till 5:00pm one day before respective screenings. After that, tickets will be available only at the box office of the screening venue on the day of screening, subject to availability.

3. Screenings at HK Arts Centre, HK Film Archive and Tai Kwun: For screenings that are about to start in 1 hour, all remaining tickets can only be bought at the box offices of the respective screening venues.

4. For the sold-out screenings at HK Arts Centre and HK Film Archive, a limited number of standing tickets are available at the URBTIX Outlets of the respective venues 30 minutes prior to the screening time. Seating is not guaranteed and subject to availability 30 minutes after the screening time. Each person can purchase 1 standing ticket. The availability of standing tickets is subject to change without prior notice.

5. Screenings at HK Science Museum: There is no URBTIX Outlet at the venue. Tickets are available at URBTIX till 1 hour prior to the respective screenings. Door ticket counter opens 30 minutes before the screening. Limited tickets to non-sold out screenings will be available at the door, subject to availability (Cash Only).

6. While it is the HKIFFS’s policy to secure the best possible print of the original version for all its screenings, the HKIFFS will appreciate its patrons’ understanding on occasions when less than perfect screening copies are screened.