Story of Sin Blu-ray review

An innocent young woman (Grazyna Dlugolecka) journeys across Europe searching for the man she loves, only to end up trapped in a moral quagmire of adultery, prostitution and murder.

Adapted by Surrealist filmmaker Walerian Borowczyk from a novel by celebrated early 20th century Polish author Stefan Zeromski, anybody expecting something along the lines of his more notorious films, such as Immoral Tales or Behind Convent Walls, may be surprised by the far more restrained nature of this Palme d'Or-nominated period melodrama.

But stripped of the more explicit, ahem, distractions of his other films, Story of Sin serves as a showcase for Borowczyk's skill as a storyteller and how he was capable of caring as much about a film's flesh-and-blood characters as he was for the fetishistic knick-knacks that regularly shared the frame.

Picture: Maintaining the high standard it set with its previous Walerian Borowczyk Blu-rays, Arrow serves up a gorgeous 1.66:1-framed Full HD AVC encode of Story of Sin. Based on a 4K scan of the original 35mm camera negative, with restoration supervised by Fixafilm's Wojtek Janio and Arrow's James White, the imagery is beautifully resolved and there's not a trace of either print damage or encoding-related imperfections to be seen.
Picture rating: 5/5

Audio: While it may not command quite as much attention as the restored visuals, Story of Sin's mono soundtrack has also been cleaned up for this release. The resulting LPCM 1.0 mix delivers dialogue faultlessly, and has the range to keep pace with the violin-based classical score.
Audio rating: 3.5/5

Extras: Arrow collectors might be tempted to think that the label would have little new to add alongside Story of Sin, as it's already sourced plenty of Borowczyk bonus bits for other releases. But they'd be wrong.

Once again there's too much to go into in detail, but highlights include a fascinating commentary by Kat Ellinger and Samm Deighan (of the Daughters of Darkness podcasts); a lengthy interview with actress Grazyna Dlugolecka; new restorations of three more of the director's short films (Once Upon a Time, Dom and The School); plus explorations of the use of classical music and the visual/thematic motifs found in his films.

The set also includes a superb 44-page booklet housing a new piece by expert Daniel Bird, plus several archival essays and interviews.
Extras rating: 5/5

We say: Arrow delivers a typically all-encompassing Blu-ray package for an atypical Borowczyk flick.

Story of Sin, Arrow Academy, All-region BD & R0 DVD, £25