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  • dir.  Pier Paolo Pasolini
  • Year. 1975
  • country. Italy
  • run-time. 117 mins
  • rating. 18

£6.00 (£4.50 conc.)

Doors 19:30 - Film 20:00

Deptford Cinema ends the S&M season with possibly the most controversial film in the genre:

Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom

“Disillusioned by the sexual revolution, which he felt had only entrenched sexuality in consumerism and bourgeois rationalism, Pasolini disowned his “Trilogy of Life,” the three early 1970s films intended as erotic celebrations of the body, and responded with his most notorious and final film, Salò. Set in northern Italy during the last days of Mussolini’s reign, the film liberally adapts Sade’s 120 Days of Sodom, using the tale of amoral libertines who kidnap young victims for a sacrificial orgy to launch a ruthless and wide-ranging attack on modernity as a whole. Setting up equivalences between Sadean sexual license, Italian fascism and consumerist alienation, Salò delivers a trenchant political allegory that tends to be overshadowed by its explicit nudity and images of sexual sadism.” – Harvard Film Archive


In World War II Italy, four fascist libertines round up nine adolescent boys and girls and subject them to one hundred and twenty days of physical, mental and sexual torture.

Released in 1975, Salò was rejected by the BBFC; finally allowing its release (in an uncut form) in 2000. Salò has been banned in several countries, because of its graphic portrayals of rape, torture and murder.  Upon its release, the film sparked numerous debates among critics and censors about whether or not it constituted pornography due to its nudity and graphic depiction of sex acts.

Follow this link to the BBFC for a an in-depth case study of this film.

In Italian with English subtitles.

In reaching the decision to pass Salo 18 uncut, the BBFC considered that although the film was undeniably - and intentionally - shocking, it did not contain anything that would ‘deprave and corrupt’ viewers - the basic test of the Obscene Publications Act. In fact, Salo’s purpose and its likely effect on viewers seemed to be quite the opposite.