by Pier Paolo Pasolini
Introduction by Oskar Hallberg
Thursday 11 February 2016

Appunti per un’Orestiade africana / Notes for an African Orestes (1970), 71 min

A film about an idea for a film never made: Pasolini journeys to post-colonial Africa to develop a film version of Aeschylus’ masterwork, The Oresteia. While his camera searches out potential locations, Pasolini on the soundtrack offers his ideas about the play as well as provocative observations about the continent. Different casting ideas emerge: Can a beautiful Masai warrior play Agamemnon, if the part of Orestes goes to a Western-dressed university student from Tanzania? Chorus members are drawn from the farmers, small merchants and beggars the director meets at markets. The background of impending violence in Aeschylus is evoked with images of the then-raging struggle in Biafra. Gradually, Pasolini conjures up his contemporary African Oresteia by finding the essence of Aeschylus’ dark vision in the world his camera discovers.


Oskar’s Gold Nuggets is an ongoing series of film screenings where our neighbor and cineaste Oskar Hallberg from Cinema Panora presents a film in dialogue with the current exhibition on view.