From the programme booklet

Il Teorema di Pasolini – Synopsis

Part I

A grand-bourgeois family is seated at lunch. It consists of Paolo, the father, Lucia, the mother, Pietro, their son, and Odetta, their daughter. The maid Emilia is serving their food when a telegram is delivered. It announces the arrival of the Guest for the next day.

The Guest is reading in the garden while Emilia is mowing the lawn. After Emilia has stared at the Guest for a long time, she runs into the kitchen and tries to kill herself. The Guest saves her and takes her to her room. There, they succumb to their desire.

Pietro and the Guest sleep in the same room. Pietro walks over to the Guest’s bed and slowly pulls away his blanket. When the Guest awakes, he notices Pietro’s bashful desire and lies down with him.

Paolo cannot sleep either and opens the door to his son’s bedroom. He sees Pietro and the Guest sleeping in the same bed.

Back in the parents’ bedroom, Paolo wakes Lucia and forces her to have sex with him.

Pietro and the Guest are immersed in art books. The Guest recites a poem.

In the garden, Lucia discovers the Guest’s clothes. She also undresses and awaits his return.

When Paolo falls ill, Odetta witnesses her beloved father’s weakness.

In her room, Odetta too is seduced by the Guest.

Paolo and the Guest go on an excursion to the riverbank. They give in to their desire.

Again, the family is having lunch. A telegram announces that the Guest will depart the following day.


Part II

After the Guest’s departure, Odetta and Pietro each try, separately, to understand what has happened. It breaks Odetta.

Like an ascetic, Emilia refuses almost all nourishment.

Pietro tries his hand at being an artist. However, he has trouble finding his own expressive language and leaves the family.

Lucia tries to give meaning to her existence by uninhibited sex.

Emilia ascends to heaven. Back on earth, she buries herself in the ground.

Paolo decides to leave everything behind. Barefoot, he walks towards a new life.


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