Maitresse

The last time we heard from Barbet Schroeder was in his documentary General Idi Amin Dada about a clearly insane man which allowed us to talk about exploitation in documentaries which gets even more interesting when you can't be sure if it's the director or the subject exploiting the other more.

The very next film he worked on may lead to similar concerns of exploitation if it weren't for the concept of informed consent and the fairly clear facts that everything is above board and everyone is on board and a certain board gets used for a purpose I will not quickly forget, but I digress.

Maîtresse (1975) is a traditional boy-meets-girl love story where one part of the couple has to come to terms with something the other does that threatens to undermine their relationship. It's a common enough storyline, though the "something" in this particular instance is that Gerard Depardieu's new girlfriend is a BDSM mistress. Originally Rated X in the US and flat out banned in Britain despite the act that the Brits recognized it as a worthwhile film with some rather graphic content that they just weren't comfortable with.

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