Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom ★★★★

One of SALÒ's most carefully provocative statements about its evils is that the masters are not primarily concerned with the torture of their victims, except as punishment for breaking their fetishized rules. The masters' four-month reign of terror is, ultimately, aimed at degrading themselves. This isn't the shallow, incoherent and emotionally strident anti-authoritarianism of BATTLE ROYALE or THE HUNGER GAMES, even though SALÒ shares startlingly similar inspiration. Pasolini's critique of Italian Fascism extends beyond the force that a malevolent system projects upon others; SALÒ depicts the system as an outward manifestation of a deep-seated yearning for self-debasement on the part of the upper classes.

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