Marquis de Sade's Justine - 1977
This is a story of Justine, a young, virginal and virtuous girl and her deep and dark journey into a world of mere sexploitation. What is so horrific about depraved sex you might ask? Well in contemporary times, sex sells. From Jenna Jameson's XXX tapes to Pamela Anderson gracing the cover of Playboy, and novelty stores that sell gag gifts and edible underwear, sex is all around us. The media glorifies it. Remember the song Erotica by Madonna and I Want Your Sex by George Michael? But Justine Jerome lived in a Biblical Era where sex was considered Devil's Play. You would be condemned to Hell for even contemplating such illicit needs and desires. In the convent where Justine and her liberated sister Juliette stayed, repressed sexual desires and tendencies are paramount. While Juliette had no problem acting upon her desires with another nun in the convent, Justine refused to be corrupted. She longed to stay on the Path to the Lord.. But sin always finds you..
Juliette tries to lure Justine away from the Path to Salvation..She takes her younger sister to a brothel. Juliette becomes a wanton with a high degree of sexual power while Justine escapes. The path Justine finds herself on afterwards is filled with rape, murder, and torture. Nobody in the world she could count on. This is a Horror Film about a corruption of innocence and a dark path with no light at the end of the tunnel. I am hearing Don Henley's "End Of Innocence" replay in my mind...
This is where this post can get deep. Can we look at the story as a typical depiction of Good vs. Evil? The Holy Bible condemns sex before marriage. It condemns homosexuality. It is a sin to have sexual desires. Hell, masturbation is also forbidden. For Justine, sin always stalked her like wolves to their prey. Her purity was the ultimate albatross around her neck. I haven't read the Bible in years but I do know the common teachings of The Lord and The Devil. Once the Devil has succeeded in corrupting you, his job is already done. If you are easily corrupted, you are no longer a challenge to The Devil. So where do you think he attempts to go next? To the young virgin untainted by sin. It is like a game of hard to get. For instance, imagine being the top Advertising Executive in your high end corporation. You have that one lucrative Fortune 500 prospect who turns everybody down but you know if you can somehow manage to schmooze the client into signing up with you, you will end up with a hefty bonus, residual, and not to mention a promotion. You know you can find your way around the wall the client has put up with you. You got what it takes and you stop at nothing. Before you know it, you got the client's attention. That is how it all starts, with just a notion. With much pursuing and schmoozing, you finally sealed the deal. Now you are in a position of power. That is exactly where the Devil wants to be, in a position of power. Ruthless ambitious businessmen need a challenge to feel more significant. To the Devil, Justine was just that, a challenge. Once she was raped, tortured and mauled, the God forsaken men of the village threw her body into the lake. Her soul is now damned..
But what about now? In today's liberated era, sex is no longer viewed as evil. A good majority of us are not innocent in that department anymore. If anything sex has become the norm. So what does that make us? A question I dare to ask; do you think the Devil has won us over??