In The Realm Of The Senses (Ai No Corrida) review

Shot in Japan but financed with French money, Ai No Corrida was widely banned on its initial release in 1976, on the grounds of its sexual content. It graphically depicts intercourse, fellatio, erotic asphyxiation, and notoriously, castration.

Based on a real-life affair that shocked '30s Japan, it tells the story of the doomed relationship between a former prostitute Sada (Eiko Matsuda) and Kichizo (Tatsuya Fuji), the sexually voracious husband of her employer. Kichizo leaves his wife for Sada, and the two lovers retreat from the outside world - - a country preparing for war - - into their erotic fantasies, as they attempt to obtain orgasmic fulfilment.

Director Nagisa Oshima has crafted an uncompromising portrait of obsessive sexual passion. Moreover, it's a critique of the repressive Japanese society that also hints at our own voyeuristic relationship with the on-screen sex.

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