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Empire of Passion (edition 1978)
by Nagisa Oshima (director)
In the Realm of the Senses [1976 film] by Nagisa Ōshima
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The story is based on the tabloid sensation of 1936, the fatal love affair of Sada Abe, a former geisha turned maid, and Kichizo Yoshida, the owner of the Tokyo ryotei (Japanese-style restaurant) at which she worked. Abandoning his wife and his business, Kichizo gives himself up to two weeks of dissipation with Sada at a nearby inn, which climaxes in sadomasochistic love games--and his strangulation and mutilation. Kichizo is tired of life, of the militarism that has everywhere suppressed Eros in favor of Thanatos, and he and Sada are escaping, protesting, testing physical and psychological limits, while resisting a social order that condemns their actions and their very being.
(summary from another edition)
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