Sokichi leaves his village to study medicine. Obliged to do menial work to avoid starvation, he is helped by a beautiful prostitute, Osen, who takes pity on him. Forced to carry out wrongdoings by her pimp, she swindles most of her clients.
Few of Mizoguchi’s silent films have survived but The Downfall of Osen already seems to offer a poetic and thematic concentration of his cinema. Already men owe everything to women whose sacrifice is the most poignant and fundamental motif of his films.JB