he most complex film of this period is perhaps the least known: The Straits of Love and Hate (1937), loosely inspired by Tolstoy’s much-filmed Resurrection, which had been one of the staples of Japanese film adaptation in the silent era. Here the balance between distance and involvement is perfectly achieved – one sympathizes profoundly with the ill-treated heroine while remaining aware of the social conditions which create her plight. In fact, of all Mizoguchi’s prewar films, this is the most positive in its feminism: his heroine is not doomed, but permitted to rebel successfully against the cruel patriarch who seeks to separate her from her child.

Overview from themoviedb.org