Special Series

Eros + Massacre


Directed by: Yoshishige Yoshida
1970 / 167 minutes / Unclassified 15+ (under 15s must be accompanied by an adult)


Anarchy, free love and socio-political unrest during 1910s and 1960s Japan

This biopic follows the life of Sakae Ōsugi, a Taishō Era (1912-1926) anarchist known as a proponent of sexual freedom and for living the ideals he preaches. His three lovers aren’t all as enamoured with his flouting of the customary monogamous sexual mores of the time, which, when combined with his detractors’ distaste for his non-traditional lifestyle, leads to his tragic downfall after the Great Kantō Earthquake in 1923. Ōsugi’s story intertwines with that of Eiko, a 1960s university student who sympathises with Ōsugi’s anarchical philosophies on free love and radicalism.

Director Yoshishige Yoshida’s quintessential arthouse film, Eros + Massacre examines the political and romantic radicalism of Japan in the 1910s and 1960s through non-linear, parallel storytelling. Similar to many Japanese New Wave films, its true brilliance shines through within the context of the social and political issues of the time. Nonetheless, the film stands on its own as an exquisite masterpiece of cinematography with an indulgent, ravishing style.

Audience warning: Contains violence and sexual references

Wednesday 10th February

Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney

Saturday 13th February

Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney

Saturday 9th January


QAGOMA, Brisbane

Wednesday 13th January

General admission only
Please arrive 30 minutes before the screening

QAGOMA, Brisbane

Screens in: Sydney and Brisbane

Director: Yoshishige Yoshida

Cast: Mariko Okada, Toshiyuki Hosokawa, Toshiko Ii, Yūko Kusunoki and Kazuko Inano

Genre: Special Series

Language(s): In Japanese with English subtitles

Format: 16mm b&w

This film is part of the JFF Classics 2020 program, Provocation and Disruption: Radical Japanese Filmmaking from the 1960s to the 2000s.

From subversive Japanese New Wave cinema to surrealist psychedelic expressions and gritty cyberpunk, Provocation and Disruption features boundary-shattering masterpieces from avant-garde Japanese auteurs including Seijun Suzuki, Shinya Tsukamoto and Nobuhiko Ōbayashi. The program is all about the poetic, the abstract, the visceral and the abrasive in visionary Japanese cinema. This program broadly encapsulates films that were fiercely uncompromising and transcended convention, each leaving its unique mark on Japan’s film industry.