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Belladonna of Sadness

  1. Overview
  2. Description
  3. Fact Sheet
  4. Admission info

Thanks to the recent restoration of Belladonna of Sadness, a stunning piece of erotic Japanese animation from 1973, you can come and see it on the big screen during the Festival.

Wildly imaginative and set to a psych rock soundtrack, Eiichi Yamamoto’s Belladonna of Sadness has recently been restored by Cinelicious from the original 35mm negative and a copy from the Cinémathèque Royale in Belgium. A cult classic for some, this forgotten gem is a great sample from Japan’s underground art scene in the 70s.

Inspired by Jules Michelet’s Satanism and Witchcraft, the film tells the story of Jeanne, a beautiful peasant who is violently raped by the local lord on her wedding night and then rejected by her husband for it. Heartbroken and angry, she makes a deal with the devil to obtain magic powers which she uses to lead a rebellion in the village.

This restored version, premiering in France at the Annecy Festival and coming to select theatres throughout the summer, proves that animation is far from being a genre that’s just for kids.


The film

  • Film identity

    Original title: Kanashimi no Belladonna

    Directed by: Eiichi YAMAMOTO

    Country: Japan

    Year of production: 1973

    Running time: 01 h 29 min

  • Technique

    Category: Feature film

    Techniques used: Drawing on cels

    Process: Colour

  • Credits

    Directed by: Eiichi YAMAMOTO


    Distribution: EUROZOOM

    Based on: "La Sorcière", Jules Michelet

    Artistic direction: Kuni Fukai

    Script: Yoshiyuki Fukada

    Animation: Gisaburo Sugii

    Camera: Daido Moriyama

    Music: Masahiko Sato

    Sound: Atsumi Tashiro

    Editing: Masashi Furukawa

    Voice: Aiko Nagayama

Admission info

Open to Festival and Mifa badgeholders