Pier Paolo Pasolini

© DR

It is difficult to sum up in a few words what Hervé Joubert-Laurencin described as the “moral and prophetic voice of the nation”. Writer, poet, journalist, filmmaker and stage director, Pier Paolo Pasolini is one of the greatest intellectual and artistic figures of the 20th century and of Italian culture. Famous for his profound left-wing political engagement, he was fiercely opposed to all forms of ideology, the emergence of the consumerist society that he witnessed in Italy, and all forms of conformity. “I’m frozen and mean. My words wound. I have an obsessive need not to deceive others, to spit out everything that I am,” he wrote.

A renowned filmmaker, he caused a sensation with the release of his first film, Accatone, in 1961, which describes the dark underbelly of Italian society. But it was The Gospel According to St. Matthew (1964), a black-and-white film on the beauty of faith, that truly consecrated his fame, despite his atheism and his Marxist convictions. Originally inspired by neorealism, Pasolini gradually distanced himself from it, while his films became increasingly dark, depicting all the cruelty of our society.  His last opus, Salo or the Hundred and Twenty Days of Sodom, based on De Sade's novel, present a world ruled by sadism. Devoid of all hope, the film caused a scandal.

Born in 1922 in Bologna, Pasolini tragically died in Ostia in 1975. He was assassinated in circumstances that remain unclear.


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