In 1936, in the midst of rising Japanese militarism, a former prostitute, Sada, goes to work as a maid in a brothel. The house's handsome owner, Kichizo, soon begins to court her, and Sada eagerly returns his attentions. Their subsequent affair grows increasingly intense, and their sexual obsession threatens to destroy them both. Nagisa Oshima's erotic Japanese masterpiece was initially banned from the New York Film Festival in 1976.

A remarkable film, revisited

In The Realm Of The Senses is based on real events - in the increasingly militaristic Japan of 1936, a married man, played by Tatsuya Fuji, and a geisha, Eiko Matsuda, retreat into their own hermetic world where they lose one another in love and death. The film was remarkable in its day, and is still remarkable, because Oshima`s actors really are making love on screen; many people called it pornographic, and as far as I know the only uncut screenings it had in Australia were those at the Melbourne and Sydney film festivals in 1977. But now you can see the uncut version, obviously R rated, of this controversial film, a disturbing, obsessive experience which, though obviously not for everybody, is a unique cinema experience.