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Directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini

1964, in Italian with English subtitles



137 minutes




The Gospel According to Matthew

Il Vangelo secondo Matteo

Introduced by Alessandro Carrera, director of Italian Studies at the University of Houston

The Pier Paolo Pasolini retrospective opens with one of Pasolini's most acclaimed early films, a religious tale that finds the spiritual and the epic in the everyday, chronicling the life of Christ in a style influenced by neorealism. Casting nonprofessional actors and opting not to use a script or special effects, Pasolini’s retelling is measured and soulful, enhanced by a rich musical score ranging from Bach and Mozart to spirituals and Russian revolutionary songs. This film won the Grand Prize of the International Catholic Film Office as well as two awards at the Venice Film Festival, and was one among the films recommended by the Vatican in 1996 in honor of the centennial of cinema.

“Pasolini's is one of the most effective films on a religious theme I have ever seen, perhaps because it was made by a nonbeliever who did not preach, glorify, underline, sentimentalize or romanticize his famous story, but tried his best to simply record it.” —Roger Ebert