Salo 1975

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Salo, or 120 Days of Sodom, is an extreme film, and any review has to begin by warning potential audiences about the disturbing content of Pier Paulo Pasolini’s 1975 film. In an era of Nazi-controlled Italy, circa 1944, authorities round up the best-looking local boys and girls and decant them to a palace where they force them to re-enact the works of Dante and De Sade before exacting various sexual and physical cruelties on them. This is certainly cinema of cruelty, and the final scenes of tongues being cut out are agonising to watch, but Pasolini’s intent is not exploitative; his brother died in a similar incident, and his depiction of the horrific details is unsparing in capturing the banality of evil.

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