Film Review: Sada (1998) by Nobuhiko Obayashi

Sada Abe, the name that became infamously linked to sexual obsession and desire in 1936. After she killed her lover by erotically asphyxiating him, she cut off his genitals and walked around with them in her kimono until she was arrested a couple of days later. This true story has been fascinating people for many decades and inspired several filmmakers to tell her story. Most famous is “Ai no korida”, internationally known as “In the Realm of the Senses”, a 1976 French-Japanese co-production that shocked audiences with its explicit sex scenes. This film, “Sada: Gesaku ・Abe Sada no shougai”, internationally simply known as “Sada”, tells the same story, but through the vision of director Nobuhiko Obayashi.

With the legacy of “In the Realm of the Senses” preceding it, it is immediately clear that Obayashi made his version of the infamous tale something completely different. He spends the first half
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