In this movie inspired by Serge Bramly's novel, the seductive Marquis de Sade (Daniel Auteuil) courts Emilie (Isild Le Besco), a spirited woman he meets at Picpus -- a prison that, ironically, used to serve as a convent, and where aristocrats now await their turn at the guillotine. Emilie wants to experience pleasure for the first time, but the Reign of Terror is at its apex, and the Marquis (and those who he consorts with) is marked for death.

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