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The Ploy

by David Grieco

The Ploy

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In the summer of ’75, Pier Paolo Pasolini is editing one of his most controversial movies, Salò, a film that he stated “surprizes even me despite being its author”. At that time Pasolini is particularly restless. Italians have just obtained the right to divorce and the Italian Communist Party (PCI) seems to be about to win the general elections causing some worry across the western block. Pasolini, however, is not convinced that it will be so. From his point of view, Italy is truly moving right, towards a consumer culture that he sees as “a dictatorship worst than Fascism”. 
Whilst working on his film, Pasolini is writing a book, Petrolio, neither novel nor essay, it is the brave condemnation of a corrupt political and financial power. In those same days Pasolini is seeing a young man from the working-class suburbs of Rome, Pino Pelosi. Pasolini and Pelosi meet regularly becoming the talk of the roman suburbs. In these same suburbs move shady characters that have little to do with Pasolini’s poetic view of life and have chosen the route to crime. Many belong to a criminal organization that is gradually taking over the city: the Banda della Magliana.  Pasolini’s intellectual commitment coupled with his private life make him the perfect target for an intrigue where all the ill fate of the time converges against him. 
When, on the night of the 26th of august, the negative of Salò is stolen from Technicolor’s laboratory, a mortal trap is set which sees a synergy between common criminals and organized crime under the clear surveillance of political and financial criminals.  In the night between the first and the second of November 1975, Pier Paolo Pasolini drives to the Idroscalo to retrieve his film. Truly, and possibly even consciously, he is going straight into an ambush: many accomplices, some willing and some unaware, all alike and all equally guilty, have planned his murder in every minimum detail.

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