Director Kenji Mizoguchi paints a compelling look at a woman's place in Japanese society by centering on a telephone operator who serves as mistress to her boss until he fires her, forcing her into prostitution to help her debt-ridden father and student brother, in "Osaka Elegy" (1936). Isuzu Yamada stars. Then, "Sisters of the Gion" (1936) is Mizoguchi's moving depiction of the condition of women in Japan, as seen through the eyes of two geisha sisters. With Yamada and Yoko Umemura. In post-World War II Japan, a widow and her sister─the wife of a drug smuggler─must become "Women of the Night" (1948) if they hope to survive. Kinuyo Tanaka, Sanae Takasugi star. And, "Street of Shame" (1956), Mizoguchi's final work, casts an unflinching eye at the lives of various occupants of a Tokyo brothel. This powerful film engendered a wave of sentiment that culminated in Japan's 1957 outlawing of prostitution. Machiko Kyô stars. 5 hrs. total on four discs. Standard; Soundtrack: Japanese mono; Subtitles: English. In Japanese with English subtitles.