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Today We Learn About: Pier Paolo Pasolini’s “Salò”

“Torture should never be conceived simply as an arbitrary game of cruelty.”

–        Nicolau Eimeric

On September 11th, 2001, people across the globe watched as the Twin Towers fell. News reporters zoomed in on couples jumping while holding hands until they collided with the ground. For days every channel, children’s cartoon networks included, aired repeated footage of death and despair as millions watched. Pier Paolo Pasolini’s film Salò, on the other hand, has been banned at some point in time in multiple countries and not a single actor or actress is actually hurt in the making of the film. Perhaps people are upset by the ways in which Salò portrays the bare truth of what modern society does more and more every day while watching the news and the plethora of crimes shows available to choose from. Violence is a part of everyday life at this point, and higher levels of violence such as torture and execution are privileges that only those in positions of political power have the right to practice. This leads, however, to the issue of considering torturing one’s “enemy” as a right. Salò aims to portray the violence of political dominance without the distraction of “context” validating the destructive decisions of politicians. Continue reading

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