Empire of Passion
Empire of Passion • 1h 45m
Directed by Nagisa Oshima • 1978 • Japan
Starring Tatsuya Fuji, Kazuko Yoshiyuki, Takahiro Tamura
With an arresting mix of eroticism and horror, Oshima plunges the viewer into a nightmarish tale of guilt and retribution in EMPIRE OF PASSION (AI NO BOREI). Set in a Japanese village at the end of the nineteenth century, the film details the emotional and physical downfall of a married woman and her younger lover following their decision to murder her husband and dump his body in a well. EMPIRE OF PASSION was Oshima’s only true kaidan (Japanese ghost story), and the film, a savage, unrelenting experience, earned him the best director award at the Cannes Film Festival.
Up Next in Empire of Passion
Kazuko Yoshiyuki and Tatsuya Fuji on ...
The following program, recorded in Tokyo in 2008, features interviews with EMPIRE OF PASSION actors Kazuko Yoshiyuki and Tatsuya Fuji, who play Seki and Toyoji.
On the Set of EMPIRE OF PASSION
This program, created by Argos Films in 2003, features EMPIRE OF PASSION production consultant Koji Wakamatsu and assistant directors Yusuke Narita and Yoichi Sai.
Double Obsession: Seki, Sada, and Oshima
Nagisa Oshima’s EMPIRE OF PASSION is often paired with this preceding film, the sexually explicit IN THE REALM OF THE SENSES (1976). In this 2009 video essay, Catherine Russell, author and professor of film studies at Concordia University in Montreal, looks at the two films side by side.