Thanks to the recent restoration of Belladonna of Sadness, a stunning piece of erotic Japanese animation from 1973, you can come and see it on the big screen during the Festival.
Wildly imaginative and set to a psych rock soundtrack, Eiichi Yamamoto’s Belladonna of Sadness has recently been restored by Cinelicious from the original 35mm negative and a copy from the Cinémathèque Royale in Belgium. A cult classic for some, this forgotten gem is a great sample from Japan’s underground art scene in the 70s.
Inspired by Jules Michelet’s Satanism and Witchcraft, the film tells the story of Jeanne, a beautiful peasant who is violently raped by the local lord on her wedding night and then rejected by her husband for it. Heartbroken and angry, she makes a deal with the devil to obtain magic powers which she uses to lead a rebellion in the village.
This restored version, premiering in France at the Annecy Festival and coming to select theatres throughout the summer, proves that animation is far from being a genre that’s just for kids.