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In the Realm of the Senses (1976)

Nagisa Oshima, Japan

In 1936 Tokyo, Sada Abe (Eiko Matsuda) is a former prostitute who now works as a maid in a hotel. The hotel's owner, Kichizo Ishida (Tatsuya Fuji), molests her, and the two begin an intense affair that consists of sexual experiments and various self-indulgences. Ishida leaves his wife to pursue his affair with Sada. Sada becomes increasingly possessive and jealous of Ishida, and Ishida more eager to please her. Their mutual obsession escalates to the point where Ishida finds she is most excited by strangling him during lovemaking, and he is killed in this fashion. Sada then severs his penis. While she is shown next to him naked, it is mentioned that she will walk around with his penis inside her for several days. Words written with blood can be read on his chest: "Sada Kichi the two of us forever".

Opening the 1976 Quinzaine, Nagisa Ôshima’s widely-banned and barrier-breaking classic no doubt remains one of the most controversial films of all time. A provocative depiction of disturbing sexual obsession, and, equally, an incendiary (if overshadowed!) critique of Japanese society.

102 minutes
OV Japanese
German, French
Video Quality
Available in
Switzerland, Liechtenstein
Nagisa Oshima