In 1975 the controversial Communist Italian poet, filmmaker and novelist, Pier Paolo Pasolini, finished his last film, Salo, a nightmare vision based on de Sade's 120 Days in Sodom and set in Mussolini's fascist republic. The film was banned in Australia until 1992, and again in 1997.

Now, a young man, Luke, third generation Italian-Australian, is making a documentary about that banning. His mother, Mirella, is an articulate Italian woman whose father was a fascist sympathiser. The spine of Non Parlo di Salo is an interview between mother and son where history, art, film, Communism, capitalism, ethics and personal secrets are interrogated and argued.

Why did Pasolini make Salo? Why is it banned? Is art ever dangerous? Is censorship ever justifiable? Was Mirella's generation more political, more knowledgable? What are the politics of Luke's culture? What responsibility do the second and third generation have for the actions of the first? With the increasing conservatism of our society and culture, these questions become ever more crucial.

[A] dense mixture of ideas given perverse physical form. It succeeds in genuinely disturbing our aesthetic and even moral preconceptions.'
Helen Thomson, The Age, July 15, 2005.

'Monstrous and breathtaking,...Non Parlo di Salo is also one of the most ruthlessly philosophical pieces of theatre to emerge locally in recent years.'
John Bailey, Real Time, August 2005.

  • non-naturalism with touch of surrealism
  • 65
  • 4 total
  • 1 female identifying, 3 male identifying
  • 18+
  • young adult, adult
  • Australian Script Centre


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Male | Unspecified | under 3 minutes
Starts on page 18

EXTRACT: Senators, you're not interested in what I have to say about corruption and power. You're not interested in the hundreds of thousands of words I have written attempting to expose the truth of the sickness that is the society you preside over. All you want to know is if I forced those boys and girls into performing the vile deeds that are in my film.(Pause)Yes, I have been charged with corrupting the morals of minors.

Adult themes

Third Narrator

Female | Unspecified | 3 to 5 minutes
Starts on page 44

EXTRACT: The guard carefully spread open my legs and taking a small bowl he tenderly bathed my still bloodied cunt. I shivered with excitement and shame as his fingers gently stroked me. The guard picked up a needle and thread off the floor and I felt the first cold sting of the needle as it pierced my lips. He sewed up my cunt. I clutched at the mattress and I held back my screams as the first wave of agonising delicious spasms coursed through my slender frail body. At the sight of my fresh blood the guard had begun to moan.

Adult themes, Adult language

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