Belladonna of Sadness (1973) Script







Once upon a time...

A kind young man and a beautiful young woman

Were joined in love

Jean and Jeanne Dancing in the sky of bliss

Smiled upon by God

Drunk on happiness

Jean and Jeanne Together forever Smiled upon by God Forever with each other..

May they live happily ever after.

But our story is just beginning.

Your highness, today your loyal subjects Jean and Jeanne were joined in holy matrimony.

Honoring tradition, Jean has come to make an offering to show his gratitude.

Your highness, please accept this money in exchange for Jeanne's hand.

We sold our milk cow to get it.

How many milk cows?

One. We have only one cow.

Ten cows.

Your highness is ordering you to pay ten cows in tax!

What?! I beg you... We're too poor to pay ten cows.

Your ladyship, have pity!

Is this child chaste?

I vow on my soul that it was a pure marriage.

Jeanne has never done anything unseemly.

Earnest and hard working, the pride and joy of our village.

Child, do you love this man?

Yes, your ladyship!

And you her?


Listen everyone, after milord has had his turn, you're all entitled to this offering!

Let's forget what happened. Our life starts from this moment.

What is that flickering

In the pale mirror?

Not tears, Not sighs, But tomorrow's vanished scraps.

Or could it be...

A woman's leaden body.

What is that howling In the black sunset?

Not the night wind, Not a crow, But a creaking hinge of rusted hope.

Or could it be...

A woman's painful moan.

Don't worry.

Look how tired he is.

Don't wake him.

Who are you? Where did you come from?

You called me.

I did?

I'm sure I heard it...

Your soul was screaming, "I want power. Someone help me."

And also...

"I'll give anything... if someone would save me... even my soul."

Are you the devil?

I am you.

That tickles. Stop it!

I want to give you power. As you wished.

A tiny thing like you!

It's your fault that I'm tiny.

My fault?


I can become as big and as strong as you want me to.

It's all up to you.

You're so funny!

You're laughing!

It's good to finally see you happy.

You're right.

I... laughed.

I thought I'd never laugh again.

I understand you, Jeanne.

I've always been by your side.

I know everything about you.

I told you, I am you.

Stop that!

What are you...?

Where'd you go?

You're doomed at this rate.

Pray all you want... Just look at your husband, Jean!

Earnest and hard working, he should be in his prime, but he's already breaking down.

He'll probably get sick.

Probably won't make it past the winter.


I don't want anything, I don't need anything, I just... want to save him.

Please... help me save him.

Now that's more like it!

Jeanne went to town to sell her thread.

The town was starving again that year, but the lord still collected taxes.

People were crushed by despair and too weak to cry out.

The only one working was Jeanne.

The town.

Jeanne's thread sold for a good price.

No one even wanted to haggle.

Jeanne's husband Jean was the only one in the village able to pay the lord's high taxes.

Rumors started spreading that Jeanne was possessed by the devil.

Delighted that Jean had payed all his taxes, the lord appointed Jean town tax collector.

Before only a poor peasant, now Jean was an official in a red hat.

Jeanne was happy for her husband's success.

But Jeanne also noticed that the villagers had changed.

Now they bowed deeply, and avoided crossing paths with Jean and Jeanne.

The darkness is burning

The darkness invites and seduces me Burning darkness

Deep into it...

Blazing hot...

The darkness is burning...

Get away!

What do you want from me?

This is only the beginning.

Indeed, this was only the beginning of Jeanne's suffering.

War broke out.

War is expensive.

But winning meant more land.

I'm leaving for the front tomorrow, and this is all you collected?

Yes... but tomorrow I promise...

Fool! It takes more than a few drops to turn a mill!

If you don't get all the money in three days, I'll have you hanged!

But your highness... no one has any more money left!

Teach this man to listen to orders.

Make his body remember. Chop off his left hand.

You called me?

I did...

I'll help you.

I know you want power.

You're cruel.

You're mine now.

Your body, your soul.


My soul belongs to Jean and to God.

You beautiful fool.

Still you resist me, even when you're beneath the rod!

Your husband is on the road to perdition.

What will you do now?

You're mine already, but I want you to accept me of your own free will.

I also want your heart and soul.

Otherwise, he will...

This flesh, this rotting flesh, I'll give it to you, if it will save Jean.

But not my soul.

I will never give you my soul!

Very well then. Hang onto it for a bit longer.

What, Jeanne?

Jeanne put on her green dress and went straight into town.

They say green is the color of power, the color of the devil.

The greedy old moneylender who had even refused to lend money to the lord took one look at Jeanne and loosened his purse strings.

Later he grumbled, "That woman must be possessed by the devil."

Men love war in every age.

The lord marched off in splendid array with his soldiers and conscripted farmers.

Women are always the ones left behind to suffer.

The men were gone for a long time.

Several years passed.

Jeanne had become a moneylender and gained control of the town.

People feared and revered Jeanne more than the lord's wife and obeyed her gladly.

Who is in charge of this land while his lordship is away?

Me or that woman?

You, of course!

I didn't ask you.

You're right to be angry, milady...

But the war has been prolonged. Without her help, even we wouldn't have enough to eat...


That witch will pay for this.

However, despite his newfound stature, Jean spent his days drinking.

Suddenly, the lord returned from the war.

Women and men were overjoyed to find each other again.

The Lady rarely left her castle to avoid seeing Jeanne, but that day she went to the church on the plaza to greet her husband.

Jeanne was there, too.

I've never seen that woman before.

Milord, things have been turned upside down while you were away.


That farmer bitch is in league with the devil.

The devil?

The villagers respect her more than anyone now.

More than you, even.

Is this true?


Satanic fiend!

Jean! Open the door! Hurry!



So you... didn't kill her.

Even better. We'll burn her alive at the stake!

That's the best medicine for witches in league with the devil.

Heresy must indeed be nipped in the bud.

However, if we burn her body while her soul belongs to Satan...

What will happen?

If we set her body aflame on the mountain of tinder only for her soul to survive the flames in its haughty pride, then, though her body had died, Satan would live on in her soul and might spread like sparks from a fire to those all around.

What do you suggest?

Milady, you must lock her deep in a dungeon and hold onto the keys.

Then scourge her body until the light of God shines into her soul and teaches her meekness.

Very well. I'll see to it.

Bring her to me!

What is burning

In the dark judgement?

Not grief, Not penitence, But the silhouette of one exhausted.

Or could it be...

A woman's strong resentment.

What awaits In the pale march of time?

Not a life, Not a grave, But the mirage of a dead heart.

Or could it be...

A woman's crimson blood.

So you've finally come, my beloved!

Spit on by all, and now abandoned by your own husband!

How I've been waiting for this moment!

Jeanne, since the day you were born into this world, you were my friend, my ally.

You and I have been destined for one another, because of your wicked heart and devilish charm.

It was you who pulled me down!

Touching me... exciting me... into this hell!


A black dog bit me, that was you!

His fangs cut me.

Thorns tore into my flesh.

Those were you too!

They burned like fire.

That's right!

But I'm also the one who saved you.

Saved me?

I have no need for puny souls who would throw themselves at my feet.

My lust hungers for souls crushed under the weight of despair, driven to cursing God, mad for vengeance.

Yours is coming along quite nicely!

Ah, how beautiful you are today.

The state of your body, your spirit...

That is what stokes my desire and fills me up!


So they call me.

Now, my wife. Tell me what you want.

I'll give you anything.

What do you want to do?

Something bad.


Anything... so long as it's bad.

Good answer! That's the Jeanne I know!

Now give me your womb, Jeanne, your soul...

And take what I have to give!

Spring came around, even to the desolate wilderness.

Suddenly Jeanne discovered that she was not alone.

Nature was there.

You are beautiful, Jeanne.

It can't be! I thought I had gone to hell.

This is hell?

I gave myself to Satan. I should be a wrinkly old witch by now.

My hair a tangle of venomous serpents, my skin green like a toad, black flames coursing through my veins!

This can't be me. I'm being deceived!

I want to become a horrifying woman.

I want people to turn away in horror when I pass by in the street.

I don't want to forget anger and hatred!

Who says anger and hatred are ugly?

You have become beautiful, Jeanne...


Like a young girl in love... radiant.

You are even more beautiful than God.

Back in the village, it was another bleak springtime.

Jean was back to being an ordinary farmer.

Nothing had changed... until a dark shadow crept upon the village.

The black death. Infection spelled certain death.

Michel, you've noticed.

Who are you?

Jeanne, the witch.

Wh... Where are we?

Out of this world.

It's all coming back to me now.

I was taken for dead and dumped in the graveyard.

Last I remember is trying to crawl out.

I didn't expect to see you in the afterworld.

What are you doing?

It's medicine.

Liar! That flower's poison!

Poison is medicine. That is what cured you.

Are you trying to kill me?

I thought you were already dead?

Michel's back from the dead!

He's cured.

How did it happen?

Must be a witch!

A witch... A witch...

Famine and the plague have devastated the village.

The surviving villagers must be starving.

Yet they sing and dance all night at that witch's festivities in the wilderness!

Magic! Black magic!

But it can't be.

The villagers bring their own food and drink.

Filthy swines!

That woman is still alive?

It's a colorful flower. She extracts juice from it.

One sip and my wife's labor pain went away.

If I remember correctly...

"Belladonna, a beautiful woman" that's what Jeanne called that flower.

We just can't afford to have any more children!


My husband wants to every night...

I feel bad to make him suffer.

And I get lonely too.

So we asked Jeanne if there was a way to do it without making children.

Oh we know it's bad and wrong in God's eyes.

It's an awful sin.

But no punishment could be worse than what we've suffered.

Now we're happy.

We don't regret it, no matter the punishment.

I wanted to see my grandson, who died on the battlefield.

I heard Jeanne could bring back the dead.

Jeanne cried her eyes out when she heard my story.

She gave me a stick of tobacco and some blood-red wine to drink.


Did your dead grandson come back?


Did you at least hear his voice?


Then you were deceived!

I got on my knees crying and began to pray.

My body was burning up.

It all seemed like a dream.

I built up my courage and raised my eyes...

What did you see?

I could see the host of hellfire wailing for my grandson!

You mean to say that satisfied you?

Oh yes!

I've never been so happy.

Lord save us all. It's a rebellion against God.

A revolt against you, milord!

Seize that woman at once!

Burn her at the stake!

But the road is rough and the villagers are on her side.

She will run before our soldiers get there.

Who is lord of this land? You? Or...

Be patient. We must wait for the enemy to reveal her weakness.

Leave it to me!

What ails you, little one?

Do you want me?


Don't you recognize me?

I'm the Lady's page.

She hates you, so I hated you too.

I'm the one who slashed your green cloak.

Your point, little page?

I did it because...

I love her.

Are you here to kill me?

I need your help, Jeanne.

Hear my plea.

I want to make love to her.


I'm only a lowly page. She'd never consider me.

Who cares about status?

God granted us our status.

Ignoring that is against God!

The work of the devil!


I'm willing to sell myself to the devil for my love.


Filthy witch! How dare you!

Very well, I'll help you.

Crafty wench...

She succeeded where the black death failed in penetrating the sanctum of the castle.

Lord, we must act at once!

Call that man!

It's you...

It's been a long time.


You don't look happy, Jean.

Is it too late for us?

Stop this madness and come live a normal life with me on the farm again.

Please forgive me for what I did. I had no choice.


I've forgotten about all that.

Come back with me to the castle.

The castle?

His lordship has said he'll forgive your crimes.

Not only that, he acknowledges your skills!

You helped the people get over their suffering.

He was in awe of your goodness!

And you believe him, Jean.

His lordship says he wants to join forces with you.

What good is your knowledge about healing herbs and soothing wine, without the power of the king so it can reach all the land?

His lordship could have sent his troops to capture you or kill you.

But he doesn't want that!

If you give him all your knowledge, he promised we could live quietly on a parcel of land.

And if I refuse?

You'll be killed, Jeanne!

You... and me both!

Jeanne, please do as I say!

Don't think of this as a trade, Jeanne.

Think of it as a pact between you and I, to find a path to lead the people to happiness!

The fertile plot of 100 acres is but a humble sign of my goodwill.

Now please tell the scientists how to use that strange flower.

What's the matter? 100 acres not enough?

Well then, how does the village chief sound?

We'll even make you nobility! How about it?

Jeanne, what are you...

Fine! Head of nobility, second only to me!

What do you say?


I don't need any of that.

Wh... What on earth do you want, then?



The entire world!

All of it.

Prepare the stake!

I want this witch burned at the stake this instant!


Time passed.

On July 14, 1789 at the Bastille. At the head of the French Revolution stood...

The women.