The Handmaiden director defends sex scenes as necessary

Director Park Chan-wook has defended his use of elaborate lesbian sex scenes in his erotic thriller The Handmaiden, saying avoiding them would be like making "a war film without battle scenes".

The film, adapted from the Welsh novel Fingersmith, is the tale of a young maid who is hired to seduce a rich heiress, only to fall in love with her. Together the two women plot their revenge on the men who tried to destroy them.

Speaking at the Cannes Film Festival, Park said: "Although it is the story of four people, two men and two women, it is clear that the love between these two women is the key element of the film.

"In the portrayal of this love, emotions and desire, there's no way around avoiding the act that arises from such raw emotion and desire.

"I think avoiding it would be odd, like a war film without battle scenes."

Park Chan-wook and The Handmaiden cast at Cannes
Park Chan-wook and The Handmaiden cast (Thibault Camus/AP/PA)

The movie is getting a lot of attention for the bedroom scenes, but the South Korean director hopes audiences will eventually embrace more than those moments.

He said: "That's something that weighs on my mind but I can't stop doing what I needed to do.

"It might be the focus now but a film is made to last a long time, so it will overcome that."

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