Film Review: ‘The Duke of Burgundy’

Sidse Babett Knudsen and Chiara D’Anna

Tough call if you’re a movie marketer: Do you sell The Duke of Burgundy as a story of a professor who specializes in the study of moths and butterflies, or a tale of a lesbian S&M role-playing relationship? Of course this is a trick question, because this movie is both. It has plenty to interest lepidopterists and kinksters alike.

The film is mostly set in and around a beautiful old house in the countryside (Hungarian, though the film’s in English). We first meet the professor, Cynthia (Sidse Babett Knudsen), as she cruelly bosses around Evelyn (Chiara D’Anna), a younger woman who appears to be her maid. It turns out this ritual of humiliation is not only mutually accepted, but mostly dictated by Evelyn, who enjoys being punished.

Continue reading at Seattle Weekly