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This heartrending masterpiece by Kenji Mizoguchi about the give-and-take between life and art marked the director’s first use of the hypnotic long takes and eloquent camera movements that would come to define his films. The adopted son of legendary kabuki actor Kikunosuke (Shotaro Hanayagi), who is striving to achieve stardom by mastering female roles, turns to his infant brother’s wet nurse (Kakuko Mori) for support and affection—and she soon gives up everything for her beloved’s creative glory. Featuring fascinating glimpses behind the scenes of kabuki theater in the late nineteenth century,The Story of the Last Chrysanthemum is a critique of the oppression of women and the sacrifices required of them, and the pinnacle of Mizoguchi’s early career.