Abel Ferrara (2014)

18 Certificate


Our Score
Even cineastes with a good working knowledge of Pier Paolo Pasolini's life and works are going to struggle to navigate this capriciously intricate account of his final days in November 1975. Embracing the poet-provocateur's contention that narrative is dead, director Abel Ferrara and screenwriter Maurizio Braucci intersperse incidents from his last 48 hours with staged extracts from his unfinished novel, Petrolio, and the unfilmed allegory Porno-Teo-Kolossal. The latter's orgy sequence shares a brazen disregard for conventional screen tastes with Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom, Pasolini's savage denunciation of the fascist mentality. But neither these reveries nor encounters with friends and family members shed much light on either the man or the Marxist. Willem Dafoe bears a marked resemblance to Pasolini and plays him with a stately intensity. But Ferrara flits between factual and fictional episodes with an arbitrariness that extends to the desultory switches between English and Italian.


Abel Ferrara's biopic of acclaimed film-maker Pier Paolo Pasolini, who died under mysterious circumstances in 1975, his body discovered on a beach near Rome. The film follows the last day of the director's life as he considers his plans for the future in the wake of his controversial final film Salo. Starring Willem Dafoe and Riccardo Scamarcio.

Cast & Crew

Pier Paolo Pasolini Willem Dafoe
Epifanio Ninetto Davoli
Ninetto Davoli Riccardo Scamarcio
Nico Naldini Valerio Mastandrea
Susanna Pasolini Adriana Asti
Laura Betti Maria de Medeiros
Carlo Roberto Zibetti
Andrea Fago Andrea Bosca
Graziella Giada Colagrande
Furia Colombo Francesco Siciliano
Pino Damiano Tamilia
Director Abel Ferrara
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Other Information

Language: English, Italian, French +subtitlesColourTheatrical distributor: BFI DistributionGuidance: Violence, swearing, sex scenes, nudity.Released on: 11 Sep 2015