When I reviewed Salo a few months back, I discussed it’s commentary about fascism and consumerism.Pasolini’s film that established this central theme is 1969’s Porcile.The film provided in depth commentary on the oppression of the Roman Catholic church, as well as the link between the Third Reich and the massive economic boom of post-war Germany.
The film is comprised of two stories.In the first a young man wanders a vast countryside with his father, completely rejecting the life of a city dweller.His behavior is a portrait of complete self degeneration.After murdering his father one afternoon, he devours the body and turns to a life of cannibalism.Pasolini often championed the life of the commoner.Believing that common folk had a natural social grace about them that the church and government had washed away over time.The character study shows what the oppressive force of both church and state had instilled in many.The forced need for rebellion and change. As his story progresses he joins forces with a small group of thugs and they begin to rob and ravage the countryside.Showing that the oppressive state had turned many people into beasts with little or no morals.Throughout this whole segment there is little to no dialogue. or music.Accenting perfectly the bleakness of the subject matter.Eventually they are captured, and sentenced to death.Their method of execution is that they are be devoured by wild beasts.Everything has come full circle.
The second story of the film, centers around a wealthy German industrialist named Herr Klotz and his young son Julian.Julian is engaged to be married, But prefers to spend his time with pigs.Commenting on the Bourgeoisie and their tendency to wallow in their filth and corruption.Whenever Julian is visited by his fiance he seems uninterested,self-absorbed and apathetic.And in a scene that shows Pasolini’s genius and depth as a filmmaker.The two stand across a pond facing each other on opposite sides. She stands far to the left talking about the political left wing reforms and student protests occurring in West Germany.He stands far to the right mocking every statement she makes.Completely content in his conservative entitled life.Symbolizing the rise in the political climate in Germany as well as most of Europe during the 1960’s.
Industrialist Klotz is merging with his rival, Fellow Industrialist Herdhitze.Klotz’s aide informs him of Herhitze’s past.He is in fact a former Nazi war criminal.He tell’s him how he ruthlessly murdered a group of Russian Jews during the war and had their heads sent to Germany to be used for medical research.Upon hearing the news Klotz laughs uncontrollably.Showing he has absolutely no remorse or shame for his countryman’s actions several years earlier. It’s a well documented historical fact that after the war, Several members of the SS had gone on to be very successful businessman and entrepreneurs.As the 2 men drink beer and celebrate the success of the merger.Herdhitze is informed by some of Klotz’s workers that Julian is dead.Devoured by pigs.He calmly tells them to be quiet to avoid a scandal.Sweeping the ugly deeds of the past under the rug.
In short, This film is not only a bold political statement but a film that has a great amount of depth and beauty.And gives us a reminder that power will always corrupt.