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3.7
3,801 Ratings

In the Realm of the Senses

L'Empire des sens

Directed by Nagisa Ôshima
Japan, France, 1976
Drama, History, LGBT+

Synopsis

In one of the most controversial films of all time, a servant begins a passionate, dangerous affair with her master in pre-World War II Japan. This graphic tale of sexual obsession was based on the true story of Sada Abe.

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In the Realm of the Senses Directed by Nagisa Ôshima
Erotic cinema at its most corporeal. In setting out to create a work of true pornography, Oshima doesn’t present a single image that feels excessive or unnecessary.
December 14, 2018
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If Abe and her lover were applauded for their doomed pursuit of individualism at the height of Japan’s nationalistic fervor, Matsuda’s own anti-establishment political statement brought an end to her young career. It is a risk that Matsuda must have considered when she committed to the project, and it is a testament to her powers as an actor that none of this fear for what may come leeches into her performance.
August 28, 2018
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Too much intimacy elicits more discomfort than pleasure, and as Oshima’s work engages with unsimulated acts, he intimately challenges the label of pornography. In presenting real sex, Oshima transgresses on the forbidden nature of sexuality as a private and personal experience. In the Realm of the Senses acts consciously to break down taboos to liberate the audience from their own obsessions.
September 02, 2016
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