The Duke of Burgundy

The Duke of Burgundy

Peter Strickland (2014)

18 Certificate


Our Score
Inspired by the soft-core erotic eurotrash films of Jess Franco and others, but with an injection of hard-core art house weirdness, director Peter Strickland's The Duke of Burgundy is a specialist item that won't appeal to those with conservative tastes. However, for adventurous souls willing to board Strickland's freaky funhouse ride, this will be pure bliss: a funny, melancholic and peculiarly haunting exploration of an S&M relationship between two women. Indeed, it's a pretty spot-on evocation of the see-sawing power shifts that can go on in any relationship, but it just so happens that this one is between dominant Cynthia (Sidse Babett Knudsen) and her submissive Evelyn (Chiara D'Anna), two elegant ladies with a taste for silky underthings and role play who live in a strange, time-out-of-joint world where everyone is female and shares a zoological interest in insects, especially butterflies and moths. The latter half's descent into David Lynchian surrealism verges on mannerism, but it's still a tremendously potent, bewitching work.


A butterfly expert develops a sexual relationship with her housekeeper based on sadomasochism. However, while the servant revels in her submissive role, her employer begins to grow weary of dominating her lover, placing a strain on their life together. Drama with an all-female cast, starring Sidse Babett Knudsen and Chiara D'Anna.

Cast & Crew

Cynthia Sidse Babett Knudsen
Evelyn Chiara D'Anna
Dr Fraxini Eugenia Caruso
Dr Schuller Zita Kraszko
Lorna Monica Swinn
Dr Viridana Eszter Tompa
The Carpenter Fatma Mohamed
Director Peter Strickland
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Artificial EyeGuidance: Sex scenesAvailable on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 20 Feb 2015