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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.
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