Pina Bausch dancer Mechthilde Grossmann plays Wanda, a dominatrix who runs a "gallery" in a building on the Hamburg waterfront, where audiences pay for the privilege of watching her humiliate her slaves. Along the way, Wanda leaves her German lesbian lover, a shoe fetishist, for her American "trainee," and does more than step on the toes of a male performer who has broken the rules of the master/slave relationship by falling in love with her. Rather than dwelling on the rituals and performances, the film explores the psychological aspects of power and submission, and focuses on the shifting roles in S&M relationships.
From the Director of Virgin Machine.
"This is the most sophisticated lesbian film I've ever seen, carefully stylized in the color-coordinated mode of the late Fassbinder. Or like Helmut Newton photography come to life." - C. Carr, Village Voice
"Seduction is a stunner... this is S&M by Avedon, outfits by Dior." - Marcia Pally, Film Comment
"Probably the only intelligent inside view of consensual sado-masochism ever put on film." - NOW, Toronto