This is the world premiere on Blu-ray (as part of this BFI Dual Format Edition), of this controversial film from director Barbet Schroeder (Barfly, Single White Female, The Valley). It is both a conventional love story and a dark study of fetishism. Starring Gerard Depardieu as Olivier, the young innocent who falls for the mysterious maitresse Ariane (Bulle Ogier), a leather clad dominatrix.
Based on an encounter with a real-life dominatrix, this story of a Paris prostitute specialising in bondage and sado-masochism was refused a certificate by the BBFC on its original release. The film features graphic scenes of torture and fetishism which the Board described as 'miles in excess of anything we have ever passed in this field' in 1976.
Only released at the time in a handful of club cinemas in 1981, the film was cut by almost five minutes and finally awarded an X certificate. This fully uncut version was first passed in 2003 and is presented in a new High Definition transfer for the very first time.
Presented in both High Definition and Standard Definition
Domestic Masochism: Barbet Schroeder's Maitresse (2012, 28 mins): Dr Patricia MacCormack and Edward Lamberti analyse key scenes and themes from Maitresse.
Theatrical trailers for Maitresse, More (1960) and The Valley (1972).
Illustrated booklet featuring a newly commissioned essay by Dr Patricia MacCormack, a new interview with Barbet Schroeder, and the BBFC's Craig Lapper on the history of the film's censorship