Sansho The Bailiff is a flawless masterpiece of drama. I have seen many superb dramas, but this one is unmistakably one of the all-time greats of the genre I've seen. It's a drama made with such care and precision, and all the effort that was put into it clearly shows. In fact, everything about is so precise, even the little details the viewer generally doesn't notice seem to be alive and carefully crafted. It's a drama rife with emotion and power within in every frame and all of it matters. The story is exceptional, the acting is superb, and the drama never feels forced and contrived. It's a film about morals, loss, love, and redemption and it knows how to weave all these themes together within its intricately crafted storyline. While it's restrained and meticulous, it is a powerful and emotional drama when it wants to be and I was held in my seat the entire time as it unfolded so carefully. It's not only a masterpiece of Japanese cinema, not only a masterpiece of drama, but it is also a monumental achievement in film-making and storytelling as a whole. It's a drama that will never leave you once it's finished, and that's the best kind of drama.