It was only a matter of time before we had to watch another Pier Paolo Pasolini film. After the first one, so many years ago, we were not looking forward to it. But no movie could be another Salo, though I'm sure some have tried.
Mamma Roma is, in a way, a proto-Salo, though. It is a critique of Italian identity and power structures that while comparatively mild I can imagine that between its release in 1962 and Salo's in 1975 Pasolini boiled over from wanting to be heard properly. "We are bad people. We do bad things to ourselves." is the refrain (echoed by Visconti in last week's The Leopard as well), the message here is a slow simmer compared to what it would become, but no less unsubtle.