Alex Constantine - February 3, 2010
Full story: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pier_Paolo_Pasolini#Death
(Thanks to Victor Moore for the lead)
Pier Paolo Pasolini (March 5, 1922 – November 2, 1975) was an Italian poet, intellectual, film director, and writer. Pasolini distinguished himself as a journalist, philosopher, linguist, novelist, playwright, filmmaker, newspaper and magazine columnist, actor, painter and political figure. He demonstrated a unique and extraordinary cultural versatility, in the process becoming a highly controversial figure. ...
In 1954, Pasolini, who now worked for the literary section of Italian state radio, left his teaching job and moved to the Monteverde quarter, publishing La meglio gioventù, his first important collection of dialect poems. His first novel, Ragazzi di vita (English: Boys of Life), was published in 1955. The work had great success but was poorly received by the PCI establishment and, most importantly, by the Italian government, which even initiated a lawsuit against Pasolini and his editor, Garzanti.
Though totally exonerated of any charge, Pasolini became a favourite victim of insinuations, especially by the tabloid press.
In 1957, together with Sergio Citti, Pasolini collaborated on Federico Fellini's film Le notti di Cabiria, writing dialogue for the Roman dialect parts. In 1960 he made his debut as an actor in Il gobbo, and co-wrote Long Night in 1943.
His first film as director and screenwriter is Accattone of 1961, again set in Rome's marginal quarters. The movie again aroused controversy and scandal. In 1963, the episode "La ricotta", included in the collective movie RoGoPaG, was censored and Pasolini was tried for offence to the Italian state.
During this period Pasolini was frequently abroad: in 1961, with Elsa Morante and Alberto Moravia in India (where he went again seven years later); in 1962 in Sudan and Kenya; in 1963, in Ghana, Nigeria, Guinea, Jordan, and Israel (where he shot the documentary, Sopralluoghi in Palestina). In 1970 he travelled again to Africa to shoot the documentary, Appunti per un'Orestiade africana.
The late 1960s and early 1970s were the era of the so-called "student movement". Pasolini, though acknowledging the students' ideological motivations, thought them "anthropologically middle-class" and therefore destined to fail in their attempts at revolutionary change. He went so far as to state, regarding the Battle of Valle Giulia, which took place in Rome in March 1968, that he sympathized with the police, as they were "children of the poor", while the young militants were exponents of what he called "left-wing fascism". His film of that year, Teorema, was shown at the annual Venice Film Festival in a hot political climate, as Pasolini had proclaimed that the Festival would be managed by the directors themselves (see also Works section).
In 1970 Pasolini bought an old castle near Viterbo, several miles north of Rome, where he began to write his last novel, Petrolio, which was never finished. In 1972 he started to collaborate with the extreme-left association Lotta Continua, producing a documentary, 12 dicembre, concerning the Piazza Fontana bombing. The following year he began a collaboration for Italy's most renowned newspaper, Il Corriere della Sera.
At the beginning of 1975 Garzanti published a collection of critical essays, Scritti corsari ("Corsair Writings").
Pasolini was brutally murdered by being run over several times with his own car, dying on 2 November 1975 on the beach at Ostia, near Rome. Pasolini was buried in Casarsa, in his beloved Friuli. He was buried wearing the jersey of the Italian Showmen national team, a charity soccer team he founded.
Giuseppe Pelosi, a seventeen-year-old hustler, was arrested and confessed to murdering Pasolini. Thirty years later, on 7 May 2005, he retracted his confession, which he said was 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".
Following Pelosi's retraction, the investigation into Pasolini's death was reopened. The murder is still not completely explained. Contradictions in Pelosi's statements, a strange intervention by Italian secret services during the investigations, and some lack of coherence in related documents during different parts of the judicial procedures brought some of Pasolini's friends to suspect that it had been a contract killing. His friend Oriana Fallaci exposed inefficiency in the investigations, writing in Europeo magazine. Many clues suggest that it was unlikely that Pelosi killed Pasolini alone.
Pasolini was busy working on a novel entitled "Petrolio", in which he alluded to the assassination of Enrico Mattei, the President of ENI. Pasolini wrote that Eugenio Cefis, whom he called by the fictitious name of “Troya”, then becomes President of ENI, which “implicates him in the murder of his predecessor”. According to Sismi (Military Intelligence and Security Services), Cefis was the founder of the P2. When Cefis escaped from Italy in 1977, Licio Gelli proceeded to take his place. Cefis had envisaged a “white coup”, to be carried out without resorting to the use of either the military or any form of violence for that matter but simply by gaining control of the media, as described later by Gelli in "Piano di rinascita democratica" (Plan for Democratic Re-birth). In Pasolini’s opinion, the assassination of Mattei was the first in a whole long series of attacks against the State. This was a theory that was shared even by Amintore Fanfani, who said that: "Perhaps the bringing down of Mattei’s plane, more that twenty years ago now, was the first terrorist act in our Country, the initial action of the scourge that continues to plague us to this day." Last April, the Public Prosecutors Office in Rome re-opened the case file concerning the murder of Pasolini following an article posted on this Blog, but perhaps that was nothing more than pure coincidence. Attorney Maccioni and criminologist Ruffini have lodged an application to have the preliminary investigations re-opened, which have now been entrusted to Assistant Public Prosecutor De Martino. A request has since been lodged for additional tests to be carried out on the biological material gathered from Pasolini’s clothing, which has been kept in storage at the Museum of Criminology. Had the book called "Petrolio" been published, Perhaps would still be alive. On the other hand, had Saviano not managed to publish his book entitled "Gomorra", perhaps he would already be dead.
Despite the Roman police's reopening of the murder case following Pelosi's statement of May 2005, the judges charged with investigating it determined the new elements insufficient for them to continue the inquiry.
On the 30th anniversary of his death in 2005, Mario Verger released an animated biographical cartoon, entitled Pasolini requiem, with passages drawn from Mamma Roma, Uccellacci e uccellini, and La Terra vista dalla Luna. It ends with a description of the Ostia murder. ...