THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW: Pier Paolo Pasolini 1964 (Italy)

Passionate and poetic, this unembellished, neo-realist account of the Life of Christ from immaculate conception to crucifixion, is another masterpiece of modern cinema.  It features striking black-and-white photography, an eclectic soundtrack (Odetta, Bach, a Congolese Mass…) and unknown actors who voice dialogue direct from scripture.

One of the select few films recommended by the Vatican, acclaimed by the Archbishop of Canterbury as a “great film” and revered by critics and audiences, Pasolini’s Oscar-, Golden Lion-, and BAFTA-nominated film remains a powerful and moving experience.

Pasolini was an atheist, a homosexual, a Marxist, and as such his reverential film surprised many.  At a press conference in 1966, when asked why an unbeliever had made a film with religious themes his response was “If you know that I am an unbeliever, then you know me better than I do myself.  I may be an unbeliever but I am an unbeliever who has a nostalgia for belief.”

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