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Pasolini travels through Italy asking his country's people about love, sex, divorce, homosexuality, marriage, prostitution and more in this landmark portrait of postwar Italian culture.
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A landmark in postwar Italian cinema, Pasolini's engrossing portrait of the sexual attitudes of contemporary Italians proved a brave venture. With portable camera and mic, Pasolini travels throughout Italy — from city to village, suburb to church, the industrial north to the agricultural south — asking his country's people about love, sex, divorce, homosexuality, marriage, prostitution. He interviews intellectuals like Alberto Moravia and Oriana Fallaci, but focuses mostly on everyday people — la gente della strada — and their opinions and insights are, moment to moment, sad, hilarious, alarming, appalling. (The brutal disapproval of homosexuality may not surprise, given the times and the role of the Church, but one wonders how Pasolini survived such a culture for as long as he did.) Pasolini's genius both for eliciting opinions from soldiers and farmers, professors and housewives, and for editing their responses into a poetic flow of personal-national discourse, makes Love Meetings a high point of sixties cinema-vérité, as well as a revealing self-portrait. "Have I found the real Italy?" Pasolini asks, and Italians answered by staying away in droves; "the public saw themselves reflected too faithfully," he later told an interviewer.