Salò (film)

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Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom (Salò o le 120 giornate di Sodoma), commonly referred to as Salò, is a controversial 1975 Italian drama film written and directed by Italian director Pier Paolo Pasolini with uncredited writing contributions by Pupi Avati.[1][2] It is based on the book The 120 Days of Sodom by the Marquis de Sade. Because of its scenes depicting intensely graphic violence, sadism, and sexual depravity, the movie was extremely controversial upon its release, and remains banned in several countries to this day. It was Pasolini's last film; he was murdered shortly before Salò was released.

The film focuses on four wealthy, corrupted fascist libertines in Benito Mussolini's Italy in 1944 who kidnap a total of eighteen teenage boys and girls and subject them to four months of extreme violence, sadism, sexual and mental torture. The film is noted for exploring the themes of political corruption, abuse of power, sadism, perversion, sexuality, and fascism.

Although it remains a controversial film to this day, it has been praised by various film historians and critics, and while not typically considered a horror film, Salò was named the 65th scariest film ever made by the Chicago Film Critics Association in 2006[3] and is the subject of an article in The Penguin Encyclopedia of Horror and the Supernatural (1986).[4]



The film is set in the Republic of Salò, the Fascist-occupied portion of Italy in 1944. The story is in four segments loosely parallel to Dante's Inferno: the Anteinferno, the Circle of Manias, the Circle of Shit, and the Circle of Blood.

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