The controversial poet, novelist, and filmmaker transposes the Marquis de Sade’s eighteenth-century opus of torture and degradation to Italy in 1944 where four corrupted fascist libertines round up nine teenagers and subject them to 120 days of sadistic physical, mental and sexual torture.
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The sets, wardrobe and cinematography are very good. That being said the whole movie is a giant "wtf?" moment. I get the ironic tone of it and the social criticism, but it's just disgusting and pointless. I don't consider myself a prude, sensible or conservative person, specially when it comes to movies, but I can't see the value of this. It all seems done for the sake of shock-value.
I kept putting this film off, terrified of the experience I might have. Then I watched it, an overwhelming film which I believe to be one of the 20/30 best films of all time. It has to be the best f-u film to the institutions that run the world. "The one true anarchy is that of power."
A truly genius analogy in the corruption and perversion in human nature to control and destroy. However even more powerful I find the personal statement made to every viewer - the paradox is all our natures to enjoy the aesthetic experience, the art that this film is, at the same time being shocked in self-disgust at the subject matter, at human cruelty and being somehow a part of it as the viewer.