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Cite as: Manuele Gragnolati and Christoph F. E. Holzhey, ‘Active Passivity?: Spinoza in Pasolini’s Porcile’, world picture, 10 (2015) <https://doi.org/10.25620/rp-19_01>

Active Passivity?

Active Passivity?
Spinoza in Pasolini’s Porcile
Manuele GragnolatiORCID and Christoph F. E. HolzheyORCID

Keywords: Pasolini, Piero Paolo; active passivity; Porcile (film); Spinoza, Baruch

Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Porcile (Pigsty) was shown at the Venice Film Festival in 1969 and was harshly criticized for its scandalous and desecrating character. It is indeed a provocative and bleak film, which offers a scathing political critique of ongoing fascism but without seeming to allow for any space for intervention or change. With Porcile, Pasolini continues to distance himself from Marxist engagement and revolutionary politics, and while he characterizes its politics in terms of an ‘apocalyptic anarchy’ that can only be approached with distance and humour, our suggestion is that Porcile proposes abandoning (political) activity and hope for a better future as a paradoxical form of both radical political critique and joy.

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