Naiwa Elegy Analysis

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It is logical to think that the end of a book, a story, or a movie, is the main idea and author’s thoughts on everything that took place before. For example, if in a fairy tale a woman who has always been dirty ends up with all her furniture and household goods running away from her, we know: being dirty is bad, and it will lead you to lose things you like. However, is many works, the ending is more complicated than it is in others; some of them can be open for interpretation, or simply to be controversial. A Japanese film Naniwa Elegy belongs to that category – the final scene where protagonist walks into the screen has been a subject of debates (Mori). For some viewers the protagonist has fallen for money and became miserable, for others …show more content…
The word Naniwa is the old name of Osaka, and characterizes the culture of this old trade city: its art and industry. Naniwa was the motherland of contemporary tea ceremony and, at the same time, a place where everyone could trade anything to anything: “Japanese … associates Osaka with a city of calculating, profit-minded merchants” (McDonald, 33). Mizoguchi digs deeper and shows Osaka citizens in the middle of old and new, avoiding any caricaturization like in other films about Osaka people. He achieves it with mise-en-scene details and hogen (local dialect) of the citizens (Spicer). In other words, the characters look and speak like real Osaka …show more content…
Even in the end the protagonist’s father and brother are not capable to save family, and they take just take Ayako’s sacrifices for something natural. McDonald interprets such male dominant society as a “force destructive to women” (McDonald, 40). Ayako is the women who fell because of that society in Naniwa Elegy: she was a shy girl who wore kimono at the beginning, and became saucy smoking woman wearing European clothes with nothing behind. Mizoguchi clearly criticizing men because of whom young “fallen” women end up being in the newspapers under the title “Woman Corrupted for Money”, which in case of Ayako (and many other women) for her family, not

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