The debut feature of Italian filmmaker-novelist-poet-provocateur Pier Paolo Pasolini (Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom; The Gospel According to Matthew; The Decameron), Accattone rocked the cinema world with its depictions, at once raw and elegant, of the underside of Roman street life – and, in the process, seemed to announce a new direction for Italian films: a neo-neorealism.
On the mean streets of Rome, Accattone's eponymous pimp (played by Franco Citti, one of a remarkable cast of local non -professionals) leads a hand-to-mouth existence on the very margins of society: prostituting, scrounging, exploiting. When his prize prostitute Maddalena is arrested and jailed, the pimp's fortunes dwindle, and he is forced to confront his own existence.
The work of one of Italy's foremost auteurs, Accattone combines a fascination with poverty, sexual mores, and the entrapments of society, with a sense of humanity and sanctity rarely seen in cinema.
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