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Animation 2018

Belladonna of Sadness

Kanashimi no Beradonna

An explicit revenge drama, told in a unique anime style.

Image from Belladonna of Sadness

Japan 1973
Dir Eiichi Yamamoto
With the voices of Tatsuya Nakadai, Katsuyuki Itô, Aiko Nagayama
English subtitles
Certificate 18

Unseen for many years until its recent restoration, Belladonna of Sadness is an explicit revenge drama based on Jules Michelet’s book Satanism and Witchcraft. A feudal lord in the middle-ages commits a terrible crime against a couple of newlyweds in a harrowing, sexually violent story. Although the film is troubling, it remains a true anime classic, combining vivid watercolours with western artistic influences such as Gustav Klimt.


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