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Movie Info

The oft-filmed life story of Sada Abe -- a courtesan who killed her lover during lovemaking and then cut off her favorite organ as a keepsake -- has been the stuff of legend for over 60 years. In Nobuhiko Obayashi's 1998 adaptation of the same story, he went for a less explicit, more postmodern tact; this film tries to get to the roots of Sada's motives. Born into a poor and lonely childhood during the beginning of the 20th century, Sada (played by television star Hitomi Kuroki) is raped at the age of 14 by a thuggish college student (Masaku Ikeuchi) but saved from further degradation by Okada (Kippei Shina), a mysterious medical student who sports sunglasses and a long black coat. She falls for him, but unfortunately Okada has a dark secret; he has leprosy. Just before he departs from society to go to an asylum, he carves out an imaginary heart from his chest with a scalpel and gives it to Sada. Unable to get over the heartbreak of losing her true love, she becomes a prostitute. At age 29, she becomes the lover of a wealthy civil servant named Tachibana (Bengal) who buys her out of prostitution and apprentices her to a teahouse. There she meets Tatsuzo (Tsurutaro Kataoka), with whom she discovers a passion that she never found in the arms of her thousands of johns. When his wife learns of their tryst, she kicks Sada out. Soon Tatsuzo -- who abandoned his wife -- and Sada are holed up in a dinky apartment as sexual fugitives. Feeling like he has lived all he needs to live, he encourages her to pull the chord across his throat as part of a kinky sex game. This film won the International Film Critics Prize at the 1998 Berlin Film Festival. ~ Jonathan Crow, Rovi


Hitomi Kuroki
as Sada Abe
Tsurutaro Kataoka
as Tatsuzo Kikumoto
Toshie Negishi
as Yoshi Kikumoto
as Sanosuke Tachibana
Renji Ishibashi
as Shinkichi
Kyusaka Shimada
as Takiguchi
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Critic Reviews for Sada

Audience Reviews for Sada

  • Aug 17, 2012
    Delightfully different from the original, still sexy and wild, but more light hearted and comic. The use of music and colour were beautiful, it's less realistic than the original but offers way more subliminal messages of sex and violence. Being 2 hours and 12 minutes long was a bit painful as most of the scenes were not necessary but nonetheless a better version of the story.
    Sylvester K Super Reviewer

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