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8. Speaking Out of the Experience of Violence. On the Question of Testimony

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Chapter Summary

Towards the end of Pier Paolo Pasolini's film "Salò o le 120 giornate di Sodoma" we see, in an extended sequence of scenes, the most abominable acts of violence, perpetrated in the courtyard of a pompous estate against a group of young women and men whose capture, maltreatment, humiliation, coercion into sexual compliance and exploitation has already emerged as the main subject matter of the cinematic narrative. The ultimate culmination of violence displayed in these scenes is performed on the most sensitive and, thus, at the same time most vulnerable zones of the tormented bodies. This chapter presents at least some elements of an examination of the discursive arrangements and constellations of speech that are particularly concerned with violence: the question of testimony.

Keywords: Pier Paolo Pasolini; question of testimony; violence



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