An evil feudal lord rapes a village girl on her wedding night and proceeds to ruin her and her husband's lives. After she's eventually banished from her village, the girl makes a pact with the devil to gain magical ability and take revenge.
Blessed--and at the same time cursed--with the precious but fatal gift of beauty, the young peasant, Jeanne, falls in love with the beautiful villager, Jean, in late-1800s France. However, as the village's foul feudal lord exercises the "Droit du Seigneur" or the "Right of the First Night" on the couple's wedding night, a desperate plunge to a world of disturbing hallucinations will eventually lead Jeanne to a damned Faustian bargain with the Prince of Darkness. Thirsting for power and a sweet retribution, Jeanne will gradually transform into an omnipotent and destructive vessel of seduction, as her newly-acquired powers go hand in hand with the blackest of witchcraft. Is there a limit to Jeanne's hatred?Written by
There are no ending credits or a 'THE END' title; all the credits are at the beginning. The opening theme is reprized over a blank screen after the final scene. The 2015 restoration adds a copyright byline and credits for the restoration. See more »
Belladonna of Sadness was the product of an animation studio that knew it was doomed.
"It becomes apparent early on when viewing Belladonna of Sadness that this film is quite unique. Certainly the first, and possibly the only animated film that might be classified in the pinku genre. But even though the film is supposedly animated, nothing seems to be moving at first. You instead see a series of elegantly designed still drawings depicting a harmonious wedding between a peasant couple in 14th century France, as a woman sings her narration in the soulful style of a 70s rock opera. This is the film's only joyous scene, as moments later the new groom is pleading with the local land baron to reduce the marriage tax he can't afford. The baron instead decides to exercise his "droit de seigneur" with the bride. It is here, several minutes into the film, that full animation is finally used, in order to depict the rape of the virgin bride with metaphorical imagery much more disturbing than what a literal depiction of the same events could provide. A sign of things to come, as this is only the first in a series of tragic events that push this woman, through desperation, into the world of witchcraft." ...
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