When a Woman Ascends the Stairs ★★★★½

The self-righteously virtuous being responsible for their own troubles due to their disposition, as much as because of any rules imposed on them by society, appears to be one of the film's key themes. The saintly aura that the protagonist, beautifully by Hideko Takamine, creates around her ultimately brings her down even further. But this is not a wholly pessimistic film. No one can stop her from trying to ascend those stairs, even if she always finds herself at the bottom.

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