Wednesday, July 7, 2010
SALO, OR THE 120 DAYS OF SODOM (1975)
I'm not a film scholar, but from what I can tell director/writer Pier Paolo Pasolini was trying to give a very damning condemnation of Fascism in Italy during WWII by showing four wealthy and powerful men kidnapping a group of teenage boys and girls then torturing, raping and destroying them (both physically and mentally) for 120 days then finally slaughtering the ones who survived in a disgusting orgy of blood and perversion. The final scene with the two young guards dancing during the bloodbath, I think, represents the desensitization of the mass population to the Hell all around them.
And that's pretty much the story. The rich men have their people (and soldiers) kidnap a large group of children. The four men then interview them and select the unlucky 18. They're moved to a large country estate where they start our with a little lightweight raping and molesting and then graduate into deeper realms of torture and abhorrent behavior. Everything you don't want to imagine happens, from eating shit and bathing in shit and piss to having your sexual organs burned off with a candle.
My biggest complaint about the film is it should have been at least 3 hours longer and even darker. I don't think Pasolini even came close to relaying to the audience the absolute depth of depression and hopelessness that happens to a person when they are faced with a Hellish situation like this with zero hope of being saved. Even with that complaint you should watch it.
SALO is not to everyone's taste, but I still think everyone should see it just to remember what can happen with the abuse of political power.