In the Realm of the Senses (1976): Oshima’s Exploration of Lust

SHOCKING This revived film is a disturbing exploration of lust

In the Realm of the Senses is one of very few films that deserve their reputation as shocking and scandalous, decades after it was made.

Reportedly inspired by a true incident in pre-WWII Japan, Nagisa Oshima’s disturbing exploration of lust tells the story of a couple, who literally and figuratively retreat from their social surroundings, obsessively losing themselves in a world of unrestrained sexual desire.

Sada Abe, a servant, begins a passionate, torrid affair with her master, which escalates into intense obsession, and a point of no return, leading to a violent conclusion, when they forsake all they have, including life itself.

The fact that it was depicted from a female POV made this erotic film all the more controversial.  At the time of its release, the movie was considered shocking due to its graphic portrayal of sexuality, depicting on screen acts that have always been considered taboos.

Running time: 105 minutes