Mizoguchi's films are depressing, and no doubt he was a pessimist, but towards the end of his life he became a devout Buddhist. His later films always seem contemplative of the impermanence of life and the unresolvable nature of human tragedy. They're transcendent, because of his spiritual beliefs, but I don't find them uplifting. They're tragedies, and even if you prefer to look at them in human terms, the oppression that he loathed so much is always brought about by flaws in human nature that are unredeemable. Some critics believe that Mizoguchi's films assert a political responsibility in preventing injustices, which may be true, but I think ultimately his films are compassionate to the victims.