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Directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini • 1962 • Italy
Starring Orson Welles
Pier Paolo Pasolini’s contribution to the omnibus film RO.GO.PA.G casts Orson Welles as a director attempting to make a film of the crucifixion of Jesus—all while he, the cast, and crew behave in the most un-Christlike ways imaginable. Making explicit Pasolini’s themes of persecution and sacrifice while introducing an overtly political message, LA RICOTTA also reflects a shift from neorealism toward a more symbolic and visionary style in his filmmaking. It got him sentenced to several months in prison for contempt of religion, although the charge was reversed.