A Geisha (Gion bayashi)


A Geisha (Gion bayashi) (1953)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.


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Movie Info

A Geisha is a 1953 filmed adaptation of a novel by Matsutaro Kawaguchi. Directed by Japanese filmmaker Kenji Mizoguchi, the movie centers on two young geishas, Miyoharu (Michiyo Kogure) and her apprentice Eiko (Ayako Wakao). Near the end of World War II, social attitudes toward females are beginning to shift in Japan, leading the young Eiko to question whether or not she really wants to become a geisha, a position she feels will lower her status within society. Seizaburo Kawazu co-stars as Kusuda, a wealthy businessman who lends the money for Eiko's training and takes a nonfinancial interest in her as well. ~ Matthew Tobey, Rovi


Critic Reviews for A Geisha (Gion bayashi)

All Critics (8) | Top Critics (4)

A sardonic riff on the difference between postwar and prewar ideas is matched by an angry discussion on the gap between constitutionally guaranteed rights and brutal realities.

May 19, 2014 | Full Review…

A hymn to women's mutual supportiveness, acutely aware that selling one's body is very different from selling one's emotions, and that sometimes it's just too late to change things for oneself.

Feb 9, 2006 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

Though the landscape of the film is restricted to a small, rather exotic quarter in Kyoto, "A Geisha" is far from esoteric. The scope is narrow and the focus is deep.

May 20, 2003

One of the few Mizoguchi films of the 50s with a contemporary setting, it is no less eternal in its mise-en-scene than Ugetsu or Sansho the Bailiff.

Jan 1, 2000 | Full Review…

Masterpiece takes a feminist view of a geisha's life with extraordinary visual style.

Dec 3, 2016 | Full Review…

It's one of the finest films on geishas.

Jul 17, 2006 | Rating: A | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for A Geisha (Gion bayashi)


a beautifully observed study of the lives of geisha in the changing world of postwar japan and what happens when they try to assert their independence

Stella Dallas
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

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