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The Greatest Movies We Never Want to See Again: ‘Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom’

One of the most notoriously disgusting films ever made, Pier Paolo Pasolini’s ‘Salo,’ based on ‘The 120 Days of Sodom’ by famed sadist the Marquis de Sade, focuses on four wealthy and fascist libertines in post-Mussolini Italy in 1943. The libertines kidnap 18 teen boys and girls and subject them to various acts of violence, sadism, and torture — both sexual and psychological. ‘Salo’ is still banned in several countries thanks to its graphic portrayal of violence and sadism, including scenes of sodomy, rape, scalping and branding, and, most infamously and hideously, scenes in which victims are forced to eat feces. If you can sit through all of that, you’ll find the film has its merits in its themes of sex as power, class divides and the exploitation of the poor by the wealthy (a theme that pervades to this day), and, given the time period in which the film is set, commentary on the horror of the Nazi regime. Still, if you’re able to make it through to the end, it’s not a film you’ll want to pop in for a re-watch down the line.

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