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Belladonna of Sadness (1973)
"Kanashimi no Belladonna" (original title)

7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 337 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 8 critic

After being banished from her village, a peasant woman makes a pact with the devil to gain magical ability.

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Title: Belladonna of Sadness (1973)

Belladonna of Sadness (1973) on IMDb 7.5/10

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Katsuyuki Itô ...
Jean (as Katsutaka Ito)
Aiko Nagayama ...
Jeanne / Belladonna
Shigako Shimegi ...
The Lord's Mistress
Masaya Takahashi ...
The Lord
Natsuka Yashiro ...
The Witch
Masakane Yonekura ...
The Priest
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Storyline

After being banished from her village, a peasant woman makes a pact with the devil to gain magical ability.

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Release Date:

30 June 1973 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Kanashimi no Belladonna  »

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Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
splendid visuals, anticipating Miyazaki. Disney it ain't!
27 April 2003 | by (Amsterdam, Netherlands) – See all my reviews

Loosely based on the nineteenth-century classic "The Witch" by historian Jules Michelet, "Belladonna" tells the story of a young "everywoman" in a brutally repressive and exploitative feudal society; in her powerlessness she is gradually driven to ancient superstitions and satanic practices, and then accused, tortured and executed for witchcraft. This storyline provides for a pageantry of sado-erotic scenes. "Belladonna" hovers uncomfortably on the edge of pornography but the film is saved, and viewer bewitched, by the incredible wealth of imaginative visual flourishes. Yamamoto's style in this medieval story hovers between classical Japanese landscape painting and twentieth-century underground comics (western style and manga), conjuring up, with accomplished technique, his dark fantasies. Think of Disney's Fantasia, but with more visual variation of style, and dedicated to the themes of lust and cruelty. "Belladonna" is a very early masterpiece of Japanese anime, anticipating Miyazaki by more than two decades.


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