Salò or the 120 days of Sodom It is a film that marked a before and after in the history of explicit cinema. Considered one of the most controversial in history, it recounts the crimes and aberrations committed by the Nazis during their invasion of Italy between 1944 and 1945, more precisely in Brescia, Lombardy.
The film tells the story of four fascists who round up 18 young people in a luxurious mansion to torture them physically, sexually and mentally for 120 days. The unexpected happened later: its director, Pier Paolo Pasoliniwas brutally murdered by Pine Pelosia 17-year-old boy who beat him to death and then ran him over with a car multiple times.
The event happened on November 2, 1975, a few days after the theatrical release of his controversial creation. According to sources in the investigation, the homicide would have been the consequence of a reaction of the murderer after a confusing episode with the filmmaker.
To understand the dark plot behind the feature film, we must refer to the choice of its title. The Republic of Saló was a state created between 1943 and 45 by Benito Mussolini. It was the last fascist bastion before the advance of the resistance and the allies in the Second World War.
The film was an adaptation of the 1785 book “The 120 Days of Sodom” of Marquis de Sade, the first novelist to cross all ethical and moral barriers for his works of a sexual nature. Known for having given his name to a sexual tendency characterized by obtaining pleasure by inflicting pain on others (sadism), he is the cursed writer par excellence.
According to the biblical story, Sodom was a city burned by God as divine punishment after the sins committed by its inhabitants related to an excessive attachment to property and wealth; these acts are interpreted as a lack of compassion. The Sodomites were accused of being blasphemous and bloodthirsty.
An extreme film in four chapters
The film’s story begins when four powerful men, called the president, the duke, the bishop and the magistrate, agree to marry their daughters in a libertine ritual. With the help of several collaborators, they kidnap 18 young people (nine men and nine women) and take them to a palace.
They are accompanied by four sex workers, whose role will be to tell stories that excite powerful men, who will then sexually and sadistically exploit their victims. The film is divided into four acts: each will increase the level of sexual violence.
The film takes place almost entirely at Castle Silling and is divided into four segments: Anteinferno, Circle of manias, circle of shit and the Circle of blood. The gentlemen, together with their collaborators, will raise the level of cruelty towards young people until they end the lives of almost all of them.
Prisoners are tortured in every possible way: sexual, psychological and physical.
Controversial from start to finish
the eccentric director Pier Paolo Pasolini was born on March 5, 1922 in Bologna, Italy. His father, an alcoholic and gambler, was authoritarian and angry, violent towards his wife and the artist’s mother. Pasolini had an innate talent which he imprinted on his various artistic facets: linguistics, literature, painting and cinema. you confessed homosexuality It was quite controversial for the time.
In 1949, he was denounced for corruption of minors and judicial persecution was common in his 37 years of life. Among his most important works, we can highlight: Oedipus, the son of fortune ((1967) and Porcile (1969), or which inaugurate the Trilogy of Life: The Decameron (1971), The Canterbury Tales (1972) and One Thousand and One Nights (1973).
His violent murder days after the premiere of his controversial work shocked the entertainment world. Investigations determined that Pino Pelosi confessed to beating the filmmaker to death.
What happened?. Pasolini allegedly promised her 20,000 lire in exchange for having sex. Pino agreed, they both walked to a vacant lot near the sea of Ostia, but once there, the young man changed his mind and decided to get out of the car.
The director didn’t take it well and tried to hit the young man who, in his defense, retaliated so violently that he ended up killing him. To then crush it several times with the Alfa Romeo and abandon it.
The case was closed within a few months. On December 10, 1975, the young man was sentenced to more than 9 years in prison for intentional homicide, vehicle theft and obscene acts in a public place. He served seven years and was released.
Thirty years later he changed his version and in an interview he implicated a third party. The homicide was never entirely clear. Giusseppe “Pino” Pelosi died in 2017 from a tumor. He was 59 years old.
Saló or the 120 Days of Sodom was intended as the first of three films in a saga that was to be known as “The Trilogy of Death”. Previously, Pasolini had filmed “the trilogy of life” (The Decameron, The Canterbury Tales and The Thousand and One Nights), a project left unfinished by his assassination.
The feature film was banned in several countries due to its graphic depiction of rape, torture and murder, in addition to the fact that minors participated in it. In Australiafor example, was banned from theaters in 1976, licensed in 1993, and censored again in 1998.
Today, the French government wants to recover the manuscript of the “120 days of Sodom” written by the Marquis de Sade in 1785 while he was imprisoned in La Bastille. President Emmanuel Macron considers the work of the philosopher a national heritage and would be willing to pay $4.5 million to be able to add this sinister and controversial work to the National Library of France