Close Up

27 May 2018: Scouting in Palestine


Scouting in Palestine
Pier Paolo Pasolini
1965 | 52 min | B/W | Digital
Italian with English subtitles

“Pasolini had originally planned to shoot The Gospel According to Matthew in the approximate locations referred to in the Bible: Nazareth, Jerusalem, Bethlehem. With this in mind he visited the area – including other parts of Israel, Jordan and Syria – with a newsreel photographer, filming both the landscape and its inhabitants. Edited by The Gospel’s producer for potential funders and distributors, Pasolini added a semi-improvised commentary as the only soundtrack to his footage, including his musings on Jesus and his teachings and on the difficulty of finding suitable locations for his project, while avoiding the subject of Israel and Palestine. An evocative behind-the-scenes glimpse into Pasolini’s creative project, the film serves as testimony to his idiosyncratic views of Jesus as a historical figure and his distinctions between the ancient and modern worlds.” – Harvard Film Archive

Part of our season on Pier Paolo Pasolini