Groundbreaking Films Promoting Sexual Freedom

Written by Mark Rausch

In the Realm of the Senses (1976)

There was quite a hulabaloo in and out of the international theater circuit after this Japanese film went on screen. Nagisa Oshima challenged censorship laws worldwide, especially in his home country where genitalia were not allowed to be seen on screen, even in pornographic films. First the story: a geisha and her lover embark in the 1930s on an affair so torrid that it almost leads to bloodshed. Then the scandal: sex, all over the screen, the first mainstream film to show an erection and fellatio. Reactions to the film included bans, release delays, condemnations, and reviews calling it “the most thoughtful work of art on and of eroticism yet done.” (Charles Champlin, The Los Angeles Times,