Watch Love Meetings
- 1 hr 33 min
Love Meetings is a groundbreaking documentary film from 1964 directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini. The film explores the complexities of love and sexuality in Italy during the early 1960s by interviewing a diverse group of Italians from all walks of life. The film opens with Pasolini interviewing Lello Bersani, a young man who works at a factory in Rome. Bersani speaks candidly about his sex life and the importance of physical pleasure in his relationships with women. From there, Pasolini interviews a wide range of people, including prostitutes, housewives, priests, professors, and even a group of young boys.
Throughout the film, Pasolini strives to get to the heart of what love and sex mean to these individuals, and how these concepts are shaped by Italy's Roman Catholic heritage, as well as its modern, post-war society. For example, in one scene, Pasolini interviews a group of elderly women who believe that sex is something to be endured rather than enjoyed, and that women should be subservient to their husbands. In another scene, he speaks to a professor who argues that homosexuality is a mental illness that can be cured through therapy.
At the same time, the film also includes more progressive and open-minded points of view. For example, Pasolini interviews a woman who works as a prostitute by choice and sees it as a form of empowerment. He also speaks to Cesare Musatti, a prominent Italian psychoanalyst who believes that sexuality is a fundamental part of human nature and that repressing it can lead to mental health problems.
Perhaps the most controversial aspect of Love Meetings is its inclusion of a group of young boys who discuss their experiences with sexuality and masturbation. Today, this segment of the film would likely be seen as highly inappropriate, if not outright illegal. However, Pasolini's intentions in including these boys in the film are not entirely clear, and some have argued that he was attempting to make a larger point about the ways in which children are sexualized and exploited in modern society.
Despite its varied perspectives on love and sex, Love Meetings is ultimately a deeply humanistic film that seeks to understand how people connect with one another in intimate ways. Pasolini is a master at eliciting honest and thoughtful responses from his interviewees, and the film is full of moments of raw emotion and vulnerability.
Technically, Love Meetings is a fairly simple documentary, shot in black and white with a handheld camera. However, the film's unpolished aesthetic only adds to its sense of intimacy and immediacy. Pasolini's voice can be heard off-camera throughout the film, asking questions and commenting on the responses he receives. His presence as both interviewer and director lends the film a sense of authorial authority, even as he allows the participants to speak for themselves.
Overall, Love Meetings is a powerful and thought-provoking film that still resonates with audiences today. Its frank discussions of sexuality and its willingness to explore taboo subjects make it a valuable document of its time, while its humanistic approach to its subjects keeps it relevant and engaging.
Love Meetings is a 1965 documentary with a runtime of 1 hour and 33 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.5.