Università di Bologna, Via Zamboni, 33, 40126 Bologna BO, Italia
Cimitero di Casarsa Della Delizia, Via Valvasone, 97, 33072 Casarsa della delizia PN, Italia
Pier Paolo Pasolini (5 March 1922 – 2 November 1975) was an Italian film director, poet, writer, and intellectual. Pasolini also distinguished himself as an actor, journalist, philosopher, philologist, novelist, playwright, painter, and political figure.
He remains a controversial personality in Italy due to his blunt style and the focus of some of his works on taboo sexual matters, but he is an established major figure in European literature and cinematic arts. His murder prompted an outcry in Italy and its circumstances continue to be a matter of heated debate.
The glbtq encyclopedia states the following regarding Pasolini's homosexuality:
While openly gay from the very start of his career (thanks to a gay sex scandal that sent him packing from his provincial hometown to live and work in Rome), Pasolini rarely dealt with homosexuality in his movies.
The subject is featured prominently in Teorema (1968), where Terence Stamp's mysterious God-like visitor seduces the son and father of an upper-middle-class family; passingly in Arabian Nights (1974), in an idyll between a king and a commoner that ends in death; and, most darkly of all, in Salò, or The 120 Days of Sodom (1975), his infamous rendition of the Marquis de Sade's compendium of sexual horrors.
In 1963 Pasolini met "the great love of his life," fifteen-year-old Ninetto Davoli, whom he later cast in his 1966 film Uccellacci e uccellini (literally Bad Birds and Little Birds but translated in English as The Hawks and the Sparrows), Pasolini became the youth's mentor and friend. "Even though their sexual relations lasted only a few years, Ninetto continued to live with Pasolini and was his constant companion, as well as appearing in six more of his films."
Pasolini was murdered on 2 November 1975 on the beach at Ostia. He had been run over several times by his own car. Multiple bones were broken and his testicles were crushed by what appeared to be a metal bar. An autopsy revealed that his body had been partially burned with gasoline after death. The crime was long viewed as a Mafia-style revenge killing, extremely unlikely for one person to have carried out. Pasolini was buried in Casarsa. Giuseppe (Pino) Pelosi (1958–2017), then 17 years old, was caught driving Pasolini's car and confessed to the murder. He was convicted in 1976, initially with "unknown others," but this phrase was later removed from the verdict.
Twenty-nine years later, on 7 May 2005, Pelosi retracted his confession, which he said had been made under the threat of violence to his family. He claimed that three people "with a Southern accent" had committed the murder, insulting Pasolini as a "dirty communist."
Other evidence uncovered in 2005 suggested that Pasolini had been murdered by an extortionist. Testimony by Pasolini's friend Sergio Citti indicated that some of the rolls of film from Salò had been stolen, and that Pasolini planned to meet with the thieves on 2 November 1975 after a visit to Stockholm. Citti's investigation uncovered additional evidence, including a bloody wooden stick and an eyewitness who said he saw a group of men pull Pasolini from the car. The Roman police reopened the case after Pelosi's retraction, but the judges responsible for the investigation found that the new elements were insufficient to justify a continued inquiry.