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Belladonna of Sadness Is a Lost Classic Worth Rediscovering

This Week in New DVD ReleasesBelladonna of Sadness Brings Tragic Beauty and a Call for Sacrifice to Home VideoPick of the WeekBelladonna of Sadness

What is it? Jeanne and Jean are a young couple in love, but after their fairy tale wedding the pair are brought before the local lord to make an offering. He forces himself on her instead before sharing her with his court, and when even her new husband turns his back on her she finds pained, messy comfort with a devil-sent imp who offers to help in exchange for her soul.

Why buy it? Eiichi Yamamoto’s early ’70s slice of psychedelia, erotica, and still-relevant commentary is a beautifully disturbing descent into our shared history of sexual violence, oppression, and the abuse of authority. If it sounds heavy, well, it is — it’s also extremely graphic with watercolor frames and hand-drawn animation that capture the atrocities with gorgeously imaginative imagery. It

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