Belladonna of Sadness

Belladonna of Sadness ★★★★

Genuinely don’t know how to rate this. As most rape-revenge films go, I could do without the gruesome first act. Also, I’m sure the perverted nature of it all will rub some people the wrong way. But looking past its disturbing aspects, there is so much spellbinding beauty to appreciate. 

As part of Yamamoto’s trilogy to include more sexual content in animation, Belladonna of Sadness is a psychedelic and erotic film set in medieval France yet couldn’t be more of a representation of the 70’s. The sexual revolution and the women’s liberation movement all permeate into this film in a mesmerizing way. Plus, the soft rock infused with jazz music is such a harmonious and entrancing pairing that it almost makes you forget about the dark elements you have witnessed throughout the film. Although as satisfying as the last half of the film is, it could have used more revenge.

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