With an arresting mix of eroticism and horror, Oshima plunges the viewer into a nightmarish tale of guilt and retribution in Empire of Passion (Ai no borei). Set in a Japanese village at the end of the nineteenth century, the film details the emotional and physical downfall of a married woman and her younger lover following their decision to murder her husband and dump his body in a well. Empire of Passion was Oshima’s only true kaidan (Japanese ghost story), and the film, a savage, unrelenting experience, earned him the best director award at the Cannes Film Festival.
1. Double Obsession: Seki, Sada, and Oshima, a new video essay by film historian and critic Catherine Russel (20:17)
2. An interview program from 2003 featuring production consultant Koji Wakamatsu and assistant directors Yusuke Narita and Yoichi Sai (13:17)
3. Original US Theatrical Trailer (01:52)