Quark Productions

Who's afraid of Lady Chatterley?

by Mathilde Damoisel


In 1960, the British Crown sued the publishing house Penguin Books in order to ban D.H. Lawrence's “Lady Chatterley's Lover” – a graphic account of an aristocrat and her gamekeeper's carnal love. For six days, prosecutors and lawyers discussed the literary qualities of a book that talks about sex without taboos, celebrates nature, and advocates harmony between beings. 

To the often comical and even grotesque indignation of the prosecution are opposed the sincere pleas in favor of “Lady Chatterley's Lover”. The heart of a literary work will be scrutinized, from the intentions of its author – the son of a Midlands miner – to its social and political significance.
But how obscene is this brave literary endeavor to write sex as it is, in its naked truth? And what can we say about this depiction of nature with the same passion, as a metaphor for human sensuality?
Based on selected excerpts from the trial, the film offers to explore – free from its contemporary moral confines – what made Lady Chatterley a literary and popular myth that has gone above and beyond its century and borders. And since its trial in 1960 defused the scandal to reveal the true dimension of this work, the film seeks to reveal all its implications, the whole truth, its entire significance. It also enables us to assess its influence in today's society.

Broadcasted on Arte the 16th of October 2019


See also

When banana ruled
by Mathilde Damoisel

Who's afraid of Lady Chatterley?