Big screen classics

The Gospel According to Matthew

Il vangelo secondo Matteo

Pasolini’s classic account of the life of Christ foregoes pomp and piety to present him as a political animal fighting social injustice.

Image from The Gospel According to Matthew

Italy-France 1964
Dir Pier Paolo Pasolini
With Enrique Irazoqui, Margherita Caruso, Susanna Pasolini
English subtitles
Certificate PG

Unsurprisingly but persuasively, the Marxist Pasolini’s life of Christ depicts him as a determinedly political animal, fueled by anger at social injustice. The film’s beauty – like, perhaps, its plausibility – lies in its very simplicity; the monochrome camerawork, the use of non-professional actors and the harsh landscapes of Southern Italy make for a stark ‘realism’ very different from most earlier movies based on the Bible.