The film's artistic merit is judged to be beyond question in most western democracies. This hasn't prevented it being banned in Australia, and the uncut version featured on this DVD is in fact the version originally intended by Oshima. Based on one of Japan's most notorious scandals, In the Realm of the Senses is the story of an ex-prostitute who becomes involved in an obsessive love affair with the master of the household where she is employed as a servant. What starts as casual diversion escalates into a passion that holds no bounds.
After screenings at 1976 Melbourne and Sydney International Film Festivals, the film was banned for 12 months then released with cuts. When it initially reached the home entertainment market in Australia, it was in this cut form, with a dubbed English soundtrack.
This DVD release is the first to feature the film fully uncut and with its original Japanese language soundtrack intact, supported by subtitles. Belatedly granted an "R 18+" certificate in Australia in its uncut form, the film's radiant beauty and impeccable portrayal of sexual politics deserves a warmer and more sensitive reception this time around. You be the judge.