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The murder of Pier Paolo Pasolini

Philo Bregstein
Time period: Unknown
Number of interviews: 4 (4 people)
Accessibility: restricted
Transcripts: none
Period of interviews: 1981

Type of research: journalism

The collection has not yet been digitized and therefore cannot be viewed directly at Sound & Vision. Digitization can, however, be requested from Sound & Vision via:


In DAAN, the digital archive of Beeld & Geluid the following items can be found: De Avonden 10-05-2010 20:00-21:00 VPRO, where Bregstein discusses the murder of Pasolini; Filmers buiten het gareel 09-10-1969 VPRO, a film by Bregstein about Italian cinema; Wie de waarheid zegt moet dood: een film over Pier Paolo Pasolini 31-08-1981 VARA, Bregstein’s documentary about the murder of Pasolini

Medium: 11 audio tapes

On Nov. 2, 1975, Pier Paolo Pasolini (1922-1975) was murdered on the beach of Ostia near Rome. Pasolini was a (leftist) public intellectual and controversial director. His work is characterized by many themes that are also found in Gerard Reve’s books, such as the relationship between (homosexual) sexuality and the Catholic faith, the relationship between violence and truth, and the importance of irony and of death.


On the occasion of the documentary Wie de waarheid zegt moet dood, Philo Bregstein organized four interviews about Pasolini’s life. This documentary does not aim to be a biography of Pasolini. Rather, the documentary deals with some themes that helps us understand the background of his life, work and death: his poetry, homosexuality, membership in the Italian Communist Party (PCI), the relationship to his family and the form and themes of his films. This documentary was broadcast by VARA on August 31, 1981.


The movie has also been released in England (Argos Films/British Film Institute) under the title Whoever says the truth shall die. A film about Pier Paolo Pasolini. It can be viewed on youtube.


The following people were interviewed:

  • Bernardo Bertolucci, a famous film director who took his first steps on the path of filmmaking thanks to Pasolini. Many of Pasolini’s themes recur with Bertolucci.
  • Laura Betti, figured as an actress in some of Pasolini’s films. She also reads some excerpts from his poetry in the interviews.
  • Maria-Antonietta Macciocchi, writer, was for some time editor of the weekly of the Partito Comunista Italiano (the Italian Communist Party), in which Pasolini wrote columns at her request. The columns were mainly about sexuality, religion and other matters “beyond” the rational, much to the displeasure of the party leadership.
  • Alberto Moravia, the famous Italian writer. He was friends with Pasolini


The interviews with Bertolucci, Betti and Moravia are in Italian. The interview with Macchiocci is in French.