Love Meetings (1964) Movie Script

Let's hear what these rascals
have to say.
Can you tell me how babies are born?
Do you know?
I forgot.
If you say it right,
I'll give you a present.
- I'll say it!
- You tell me.
From the belly.
How, from the belly?
- From the belly.
- The flower.
The flower.
The madwife
brings the flower in her bag.
- What?
- The madwife.
- He doesn't know.
- The midwife!
You tell me, Salvatore!
- What do I have to say?
- How babies are born.
Tell him. He'll give you 1,000 lira.
Stay still!
The midwife comes.
In her bag, she carries a flower.
Listen, kid, how are babies born?
Do you know?
How were you born? Do you know?
Don't you know?
- My uncle...
- What?
My uncle.
Your uncle. You were born...
Your uncle brought you!
- The stork brought me.
- The stork brought you!
And how were you born?
Michele, tell him!
I was born under the blankets!
Who of the three of you
can tell me how you were born,
how babies are born? Who knows?
Do you know?
You don't know.
And you, Matteo, do you know
how babies are born?
And you? You don't either.
And you?
- Do you know how babies are born?
- I know.
Tell him, tell him.
Come here.
You don't know.
Aren't they born under flowers,
under cabbages? And the stork?
No. So how are they born?
- What?
- How are babies born?
Let's see what the kids
of Palermo know.
How are babies born?
- I don't know.
- You don't know?
- Do you know?
- Me? I don't.
- You say it.
- Mirella!
Yes, say it!
- Yes, say it, say it.
- Silly!
Do you know how babies are born?
- No?
- I know. The stork brings them.
- Yes.
- Really? Who gives them to the stork?
- God.
- Jesus.
So, the stork goes to Jesus,
Jesus gives it the baby,
the stork flies down to Palermo
and puts it where?
- Next to its mother.
- Its mother.
- Jesus.
- Because I saw
when my mother's friend's baby
was born.
I saw him in a basket.
- Give it to me!
- And so?
- Explain it to me.
- In a wooden basket.
I see. And who puts him there?
- The stork.
- But, how? The stork has no hands.
So, is it the stork or God?
- What?
- Who brought him, God or the stork?
- The stork.
- Who put him in the basket?
And what did the baby's mother say?
The baby's mother?
She was very happy.
Professors Musatti and Moravia,
I turn to you as experts
to ask you if the survey I have begun
makes any sense.
Moravia, what do you think?
I think it ought to be done,
irrespective of its effects and results,
because it's the first time
it's being done.
For the first time, I believe,
a film has been made
which the French would call
cinma vrit.
And for the first time in Italy,
cinma vrit talks about sex.
A taboo not only on the screen,
but even in social interactions
and everyday conversations.
I, therefore, believe that
these interviews are a good thing.
I think people will
either not answer or will lie.
For what reason?
Because they do not understand
the issue, or because they are afraid?
Well, you know that from
a psychoanalytical point of view,
ignorance and fear are connected.
Ignorance can be due to fear.
We might hide certain things
from ourselves
to protect ourselves,
so we do not know them.
And this is what happens with sex.
A sort of crusade
against ignorance and fear.
These are the premises
of a desecration.
Don't you agree, Moravia?
This is what I meant.
It is desecration.
Where a sort of sales rep tours Italy
probing the sexual preference
of Italians.
And not to launch a product,
but genuinely trying to understand
and accurately report.
Where, first of all,
we see how Italians react
to the idea of such a movie
and, thus, to the concept
of sex being an important part of life.
Very cheerfully
is the director's comment.
VIAREGGIO, LUNGOMARE AT NIGH Should sexual issues be discussed
openly or not discussed at all?
They should not be discussed.
- Do Italians talk about them or not?
- We talk about them too much.
We talk about them quite a lot
and in a bad way.
Would you like to see a film
explaining those things?
- I wouldn't.
- Why?
Because I don't like it.
Would you prefer a pornographic film,
with strippers and the like?
The strippers, a bit.
You'd like that rather than a movie
addressing the issue scientifically?
- Do you think it's right?
- It's right for me.
- Are you not ashamed?
- No.
What do you say?
Do you like sexy shows, strip-teasers?
- I love them.
- Have you ever been?
- Where?
- In Tobruk.
- Where?
- In Tobruk, in Libya.
- Did you enjoy it?
- Hell, yeah.
What do you think of this young man
going to see indecent shows?
That he's cunning!
Do you approve of such shows?
As a woman, I shouldn't.
But if I were a man, I would.
What is your view
on erotic shows?
I certainly do not approve of them.
But I tolerate them.
It's just entertainment.
But I wouldn't go to see them.
For moral or aesthetic reasons?
For both.
Is sexuality
an important issue to you?
It is.
You sound so gloomy
that it's almost frightening.
Doesn't this thought make you smile?
It's sad rather than exciting?
- So, sexuality is sad, yet important.
- Yes.
I think sexuality is certainly
an important issue,
but it's not a priority for me.
What's the top issue
in your view?
It's a sentimental issue.
And how is the economic issue
related to the two?
It's a hard question to answer.
- Maybe that is the most important.
- I think so.
Madam, is sex an issue that interests
or has interested you?
It interested me, rather than
interests me. I have overcome it.
- Do you have children?
- Yes, a son. He's 12.
I worry about how he'll grow up.
What will he become, his problems,
his thoughts?
Often I feel like talking about it with him,
but he's too young.
He's 12. He must be wondering
about some things.
I'm sure. Maybe he has solved
some doubts on his own.
He's quite bright, and sometimes
I try to talk to him,
but he becomes evasive,
maybe he's uncomfortable.
I see. Do you monitor his sexuality?
Like you watch him
to see if he's ill or has a fever.
No. To me, he's just a baby.
But you want your son
to be sexually normal?
Of course I want him to be normal,
just standard, once he's a man.
To ensure that,
you must be aware of these issues.
That is true.
I will have to show more interest.
Excuse me, Miss Jacqueline,
is sex a very important issue
in modern life?
- It is.
- And for you personally?
For me as for everybody else.
In a particular, excessive way?
- Not excessive. Normal.
- Normal.
The fact that sex is so important
in our lives, is it good or bad?
Oh, my God. What a question!
True, these are rather silly questions.
And for you, Peppino de Capri?
- I don't think so.
- Why?
Well, there are
so many people here.
Go on.
It is also because I am too...
Tell me, is it an important issue
to you personally?
For me, personally, it's important.
I mean, it's everything.
But in the modern world, these things...
In your view, this issue
comes across in a different way,
but on a deeper level it is important.
- Is this what you are saying?
- That's it.
- Thank you.
- You're welcome.
Here we see how on the first issue
that comes to mind
working on a film like this one on Italy,
sexual cockiness,
Italians are divided or united
when faced with the choice,
"To be a Don Juan or a good dad?"
Even though you are a bourgeois,
you feel you are a Don Juan?
A Don Juan, I don't know.
I didn't use the right word.
But would you like to be
a Don Juan or not?
- Honestly, no.
- No.
- Why not?
- It's society that makes me...
In our society, you have to be
a Don Juan, otherwise...
In our society, you must be
a Don Juan, otherwise what?
- Otherwise you are a failure.
- Interesting. And you?
- No.
- How come?
Because I'm short.
But would you like to be taller
so you could be a lady-killer?
No. I'm fine as I am.
I'm good enough.
- So you win over women anyway.
- Yes, anyway.
How many women a day
would you like to get?
How many?
Three or four would do.
So you would like to be a Don Juan!
No, a Don Juan goes
for the most gorgeous ladies.
I aim for the more experienced ones.
Do you consider yourself
a Don Juan?
- Me? No.
- Why not?
- I don't have the right looks.
- The right looks?
But looks do not matter.
There are other qualities.
- I have few qualities.
- Would you like to be?
- Hell, yeah, I would.
- And you, from Abruzzo?
A real Don Juan, no.
I am not like that.
Maybe on a smaller scale.
I'd like that.
And you, from Venice?
He laughs.
Girls don't like me
because of my crooked nose.
What would you choose between
being a Don Juan or a family man?
Being a good dad.
- And you?
- Being a good dad.
And you, from Rome?
I would like to be a Don Juan,
but you need the money,
first of all,
and to lead a luxurious life
to be a Don Juan.
So you would conquer women
with money! Very well.
No, not with money.
It's the looks that get them,
but if you aren't wealthy
how can you be with these women?
Summing up, sex is
a very important aspect of your youth.
Undoubtedly, sex is important.
If it wasn't there,
what would be the point of living?
Here we see how
in the struggling countryside
the ancient love of life lives on,
abused by the industrial world,
and how farmers ultimately have
an extremely modern answer
to the rather old question,
"Was it better in the past?"
For you, who are
from the Emilian countryside,
what is the most
important issue in life?
I can't say which one
is the most important.
To me, it's agriculture.
To develop agriculture
as much as possible.
Since I have a passion
for the land,
for me the most important thing
is to develop agriculture.
As for sexuality,
love and the like,
are those important themes for you?
Yes, of course.
Those are questions
you should ask the young.
I am over that phase already!
Miss, is love
an important issue for you?
And for you, madam?
It was, now it's behind me.
Do you think today's youngsters
have more freedom than in your times?
- Yes, a lot more.
- A lot more.
Yes, compared to my time.
Is it better now,
or was it better in the past?
For me, it was better in the past.
- Why?
- There is no shame today.
It's too...
- I can't find the words.
- I see.
But your daughter seems
an upright girl.
What can you do?
Nowadays they are all the same.
Did you hear your mother?
- Is she right?
- No.
Do you think it's better now
or how it was in her time?
No, I think it's better now.
But your mother says it's too much,
there is no shame. ls it?
Do young men your age
behave properly or badly with you?
Do you think you are
as free as males?
- Well, yes.
- Yes.
Do you think so, too,
your daughter...?
I don't think so.
I think she would have
a bit more freedom if she was a boy.
Do you believe that men and women
should have equal rights,
or should women be inferior?
No, my God.
A little inferior, but not a wide gap.
I accept women are slightly inferior,
but not that much.
Do you agree with your father?
Should women be a little inferior?
Madam, when it comes
to making love,
is there a big difference
between you and the young ladies?
People your age and the young?
I think there is.
Yes. When you were young,
the context was the same?
I would say it wasn't.
It was different.
Why? What made it different?
Now they have more fun,
they go out.
We were always at home.
I find it different.
- Is it better now or in the past?
- As it is now.
In your time, did youth have
more or less freedom in making love?
They had more freedom.
- In your time they were freer?
- Yes.
Everybody's telling me
they have more freedom now,
but you say that in your time...
They had more freedom,
because they didn't do things right,
they brought children into the world.
Now they don't.
Now it's totally different.
But as for freedom, yes,
there is more now.
We don't see those ugly things
any more, with so many babies,
yes, in the world.
Now, instead...
I see. Today they are freer,
but also know how to live.
- I understand.
- Yes.
You think our age is better
compared to 20, 30, 50 years ago?
Yes, the young ones are better.
Those nasty things are gone.
Here we try to see if the concept of sex
is governed by specific moral concepts.
How do Italians perceive
good and evil?
Do they have general ideas?
Do they know Marx's and Freud's
great frameworks for the world?
Miss, does the idea of sex,
just out of the blue, without reflecting,
make you feel happy or, rather, anxious?
Well, about my sexual life I'd say
that at some point
it can bring happiness,
if it conforms to the principles
governing my life.
In other fields in life, for example
work, education or politics,
do you feel freer, in this way,
compared to your sexual life?
Equally free in all these areas.
Because the principles governing life
ought not to be in contrast
with any part of life.
I'm impressed.
But I would like to know
if these life-governing principles
are also, in some way,
a form of repression, or inhibition
of your sexual instincts.
No, because I have accepted them,
not because they were taught to me,
but because I've learnt
and understood them.
Are you sure this is no adaptation?
Absolutely not. Not for me.
I don't believe it is that way.
As a university student,
I seize everything that is given to me
in a day, special occasion or in life.
- You feel no inhibitions at all?
- No.
Neither on a practical
or on a theoretical level.
Not in the least.
What about you, clearly born
in a middle-class family,
a student in one of Italy's most ancient
and respected universities?
I have no inhibitions,
no taboos in my sexual life.
Definitely not.
No. What about you?
I don't think you can
separate love from sex.
If I engage in sexual activity,
there is something,
a sort of love,
that pushes me to do it.
A sort of love?
I could not have sex with a girl
that means nothing to me.
If you see a young lady walk by,
seeing her
purely as an erotic vision,
do you feel something for her?
I could say she is pretty,
that I wouldn't mind,
but until I get to know her
and develop a moral attraction to her,
I wouldn't consider her
a girl I could love.
I understand.
Do you agree with your fellow student?
No, I don't.
If I see a pretty lady,
I think obscene thoughts,
in a typical Italian way.
If, in the context of sexual life,
if I asked you to define conformism,
would you be able to?
I can say this much, conformism...
You are a conformist,
for instance, if you wear turtle-neck
sweaters and a beard. In that case...
No, I mean conformism
in its serious meaning.
We are dealing
with principles, morals,
the sexual cockiness of Italians,
the whole thing.
Can we use the word "conformism"
to define this?
- Yes, we can.
- Where does it stem from?
Obviously, I think, there is
a long tradition behind this conformism.
Can you not mention another reason,
a more radical, cultural one,
for this state of "cultural conformism"
to which we seem doomed?
A broader reason?
Pavinato, does thinking
about your sexual life
give you pleasure or anxiety?
- Pleasure.
- Without the slightest doubt?
Without the slightest doubt.
- Does that mean you feel free?
- Yes, at ease and free, very much so.
You come from Veneto, right?
Yes, from Vicenza.
Well, Veneto in general
is a very Catholic region, isn't it?
Don't you think Catholic education
in this area has an impact on people?
- I don't think so.
- And you, Bulgarelli?
Most of us went to Sunday school,
did things at church,
so each of us has
this repression, deep inside.
Let's hear from a top scorer,
Do you feel as free as Pavinato
in your racy feats?
Yes, definitely.
I don't just mean free to make love
to anyone you like.
I mean intellectually free
to judge others.
I feel free in both areas,
for sure.
- Do you have inhibitions?
- No.
And you, Negri?
- For me, it's okay.
- I don't understand.
I don't have anything to say.
How, you have nothing to say?
In what way?
- I don't even think about it.
- You don't think about it.
- I don't.
- A defensive player.
Furlanis, do you think
you are asked to use moderation
merely for physiological reasons,
or also for moral reasons?
I believe physiological.
Don't you think repression is aimed
at making you more aggressive
on the field?
Of course.
Here we see how middle-class,
Catholic morals
don't seem to provide
some lovely good girls
with the reasons
why they are good.
- Do you work here, miss?
- I do.
Can I ask how much you make
a month? More or less?
It's piecework,
so the pay is never the same.
It varies between 50 and 52,
depending on the work.
As you know, there are women
who work at night, on the streets,
who make a lot more money
in a dishonourable way.
Why did you choose to be honourable?
My parents raised me this way.
What about the temptation of wealth,
of making six or seven times as much?
Not at all.
Why have you chosen to earn little,
working hard,
instead of walking the other path?
Because an honourable job
is better than a dishonourable one.
- What do you say?
- The same.
To be honourable?
- Of course.
- Yes, to be honourable.
What reasons prevent you from giving
in to the temptation of earning more?
I want to be a decent girl.
But why? Are you religious?
Is it for moral reasons? Why?
For all. For moral reasons
and because I am religious.
What do you think of women who give in
to temptation and are dishonourable?
I think they would be better off doing
what I do, instead of that kind of job.
I'd say it's not right,
to make a living that way, right?
Yes, but why?
Well, for me, I see it
as being something abnormal.
You tire of that kind of life
after a while.
Do you despise those women?
- No.
- No.
They're shrewd.
Cunningness, the art of coping,
remains the only Italian philosophy.
So, why, Cederna,
wouldn't an honest girl
become dishonourable
to earn more money?
She must have many taboos,
in her family as well,
because of her education,
she doesn't do it.
- But should she?
- No, that would be very bad.
How so?
Because you never know in that field,
they quit earlier...
She could find a workmate
and marry him.
I wouldn't recommend it
to anyone.
In other words, a small, mundane
middle-class marriage
is a great alternative to wealth?
I wouldn't say so. If you interviewed
female factory workers,
their answers
would be very similar to mine.
In no way can it be denied
that female factory workers have
relationships with their workmates,
they go out with them,
or with other men,
they enjoy such sexual and sentimental
freedom and lack of inhibition,
unheard of just a few years back.
In Milan, Fallaci, in Milan.
But what about the lumpenproletariat
in Calabria, for example?
That's a different planet.
Are women freer now,
or were they freer in your time?
- Yes.
- What? Are they freer now?
Yes. They are more refined, nicer.
- They are nicer?
- Yes. Not as coarse.
Were they coarse in the past?
Do you believe that in this area
it is highly dishonourable for a woman
to lose her virginity before she marries?
No! She must be a virgin!
- So, she must be a virgin.
- God, yes.
What if a girl isn't a virgin any more?
Can she marry?
She can't marry.
- Why is it so?
- It's the custom.
- But young men sleep with other women.
- Yes.
Why this difference
between men and women?
It's jealousy.
Do you think it'll ever change?
In the North, there is no jealousy.
Why are Southerners so jealous?
It's our custom here in this country.
- Do you think it will always be like this?
- Yes, always.
- Always like this.
- Yes.
Even those who are 15 or 16 now,
do they think the same way?
There is no other way.
When you get her, she must be a virgin.
Or you don't accept her.
I don't need to say more.
Here, in the deep South,
everybody has a clear picture of sex.
The North is modern,
but ideas on sex are confused.
They are relics of an old ideology,
now unable to grasp
and judge the whole issue.
The South is old, but intact.
Shame On indecent women,
shame On betrayed husbands.
Shame on those
who can't kill for their honour.
These are the laws
of a poor, yet real, population.
Listen, young man, around here
they always talk about the fuitina.
What is it?
Can you describe it to me?
Well, the fuitina is done
by someone who's tight for money.
But why?
Because they don't have the money
for a wedding.
I don't get it.
You don't have money for a wedding,
but you still get married.
Yes, but to get married
you need a lot of money.
But running away, with the fuitina,
you don't need much money.
Good Lord! Afterwards
you still have to get married!
Yes, you get married anyway.
To get married in church
you need money for the sweets
and many other things.
In the fuitina, you don't need sweets.
You only pay for the priest.
- But was it like this in the past?
- No, it was better.
- Times have changed...
- Why?
Because... Because...
For you it was better before.
Now it's better, what more can you ask?
Times have changed.
They couldn't walk out the door,
talk to a lady, right?
Today's different.
There's more freedom.
What? They weren't even allowed
to speak to women?
Back then, no,
you couldn't talk to a girl,
because people imagined things,
especially in these small towns.
Today's different,
things are more relaxed, more casual.
Now 13-year-old girls
can go out to the cinema.
- Things have changed.
- On their own?
Yes, they go out on their own.
They do today, yes.
- They also go escorted.
- Escorted!
I see. I don't believe
things have changed much.
- For instance, do you know many girls?
- Yes.
Do you speak with them
as with friends?
We never speak.
You never speak!
How do you get to know them?
We see them.
How many girls
have you spoken with?
- Spoken with? My cousin.
- Only your cousin?
This young man's confession
doesn't surprise me.
I've come to Sicily to gather information
on sexual life as it is affected by poverty.
The most shocking fact is
that women are unapproachable.
It's very easy to speak with women,
because the times have changed...
I'll ask for your help.
I'd like to speak with a few girls.
Can you assure me you can do it?
Of course I can. There are...
There are three of them.
- There are three. We can call them.
- Let's call them.
Call them.
The evolution of the times and television
have empowered women.
We are not as backward
as they describe us, here in Sicily.
You have great responsibility,
as you are the first girls
I've managed to interview in Sicily.
Yes, I know.
Why is it so difficult
to talk to girls in Sicily?
It's not difficult at all.
- But the boys are always commenting.
- Are you afraid of their comments?
- No, but there is always...
- Then why?
When I go to Milan
or Bologna or Rome,
and talk to a boy, the girls
immediately come and talk, too.
But here, nothing.
She meant that
when the place is small...
The town is small and the boys
aren't as mature as us.
If they see a girl walking
in the square many times,
there are always comments.
Every time,
unpleasant things are said.
I see.
So a girl can't even talk with...
- No, we don't talk, between friends.
- If she wants to, she does.
But if you dare
meet somebody, then...
- Is it so?
- Yes, it is.
- Is it so?
- Yes.
Does it seem fair to you,
or is it...
No, it's unfair.
Not being able to go out,
to talk to somebody...
- Oh, my, being unable to go out, no!
- It's not nice.
When a girl is engaged, does she have
more freedom with her fianc?
- No, not at all.
- Nothing.
If she goes out, it's always
with her in-laws, aunts, relatives.
Someone from the family.
Not just someone, but 10, 15 people,
like in a procession!
In conclusion, boys here are very sexual.
They really enjoy making love.
There's a bizarre unbalance
between women's seclusion
and the boys' sexual eagerness.
How do we solve this?
- I don't know.
- Can you say?
Often girls argue with their parents
because they want more freedom.
There's a lot going on.
Do you deplore boys
who go with prostitutes?
Do you deplore men
who go with prostitutes?
- Well, in a certain way, I do.
- You do. And you?
The same.
- Yes or no?
- Of course. It's natural.
- Of course.
- You deplore them?
On the other hand, what can you do,
if they can't be with honourable girls?
- Don't know.
- You deplore them but understand them.
- No? You don't even understand them.
- Oh, God.
In the society we live in,
which is clearly and openly
biased towards matriarchy,
in countries
more powerful than ours,
for instance America, Russia,
Communist China,
women are undoubtedly important.
They control wealth,
they control power.
They can do any job
and can behave, even sexually,
exactly like men.
Gambria, is there sexual equality
between men and women?
Not yet, because women themselves
do not dare demand it.
They are afraid of losing
their typically middle-class advantages.
For example, in Italy to this day,
being a teen mother
is a serious fault, unless redeemed
by popular consent.
It's weird. If a woman is free
in all other areas,
why must she be enslaved
and backwards in sex?
These are just a few isolated cases
in a more advanced class.
Cases in an elite that
you're lucky to belong to.
As usual, we need to differentiate
the North and the South.
Even in the South
we need to make a distinction.
The proletariat, not in the countryside,
though, is very free.
The middle class is still hypocritical.
As for the peasants,
the picture is different.
For them, who possess nothing,
a woman's honour is a treasure.
If you lose it, you lose everything.
You get absurd situations,
undoubtedly deplorable.
A family with four daughters starves
because only the father works.
The daughters can't work,
as they could lose their virginity.
So they stay home.
They feed only on bread and figs.
What does he want from me?
Where has he come from?
Get out of my way!
What do you think of the deprivation
girls, and ultimately boys, too,
have to endure here in Sicily?
A deprived person
becomes more stubborn,
and, vice versa, for a free person.
A free person has more control
than someone who's been repressed...
A repressed person may snap
and become dangerous.
Becomes dangerous.
Right. Women, especially young ladies,
have far less freedom.
- They are not as free as men.
- Of course. All of them.
Do you think this is fair?
Honestly, women should also have
some freedom.
And why is it that they don't,
here in Sicily?
Because it's customary,
so we don't notice it.
- Shouldn't it change?
- I don't agree.
Wouldn't you want it to change,
for women to have more freedom?
- That's our right.
- Yes.
Oh boy, sounds like
they're killing each other!
Come here, miss.
You, beautiful young lady.
- He wants to ask you questions.
- Come here with me.
Having ascertained that Italians,
faced with general questions,
reply with a series of innocent
and rather daft "No comments",
let us see what happens
with a precise, brutal, burning issue,
like homosexuality, for instance.
Ungaretti, in your view,
is there such a thing
as sexual normality or abnormality?
Look, every man... made differently.
I am talking about
his physical structure.
Every man is different.
Every man is also different
on a spiritual level.
Therefore, all men are,
in their own way, abnormal.
All men are, in a way,
in contrast with nature.
And that is from the very first instant,
the act of civilisation,
which is an act of human arrogance
against nature,
is an act against nature.
Would I be too indiscreet
if I asked you
about the norm
and transgression of the norm
in your own personal experience?
Well, me, personally,
what do you expect?
Me, personally, I am a man.
I am a poet, thus I break all laws
by writing poetry.
Now I am old,
so the only laws I follow
are those of old age,
which, unfortunately,
are the laws of death.
Miss, please tell me,
do guys all behave the same
with you?
Well, no.
Are there big or small differences?
Small things.
For example, I like to dance.
I come here to dance.
Some people come to dance,
some guys come to fool around.
That, I don't like.
Have you ever heard of that terrible thing
called "sexual abnormalities"?
- No.
- You don't know anything about this?
Don't you know some boys and girls
are different in their sexuality?
Never heard of it?
For instance, have you not heard
about the "invert"?
- Oh, well, yes, I have heard about that.
- You have.
Do you know
what these people are like?
I don't know who they are because...
I don't know.
One day you will get married
and have children.
Your children might be
like these people.
Let's hope not!
Let's hope not. I really hope not.
However, you need to know
these problems in order to cure them.
Well, yes, but...
Maybe they'll be inverted when young.
Hopefully they'll change growing up.
Wouldn't you want somebody
to tell you about these things?
I would. There should be
somebody explaining them.
You're here amongst many young people
dancing and having fun.
Do you feel you are like them
or different from them, inside you?
Well, inside I feel different,
but the people I meet,
I feel very different
because I feel
I am more intelligent,
maybe because I'm educated
and they aren't.
If they're simple workers or waiters,
they are no match for me.
But from an erotic,
sexual point of view,
do you feel exactly
the same as the others?
Maybe when it comes to women,
I'm a lot better.
The others can't do it.
Women like me a lot.
- Women like you a lot.
- Yes.
So you think you are different
because you are sexier?
Yes. They also see that women really
like me. It might be my own idea.
You know that in sexuality
there are anomalies, abnormalities.
- Do you know what sadism is?
- No, I don't.
- Masochism?
- No.
- Do you know who the inverts are?
- Yes, that I know.
I think that anyway
you can find an invert
that might even be a lesbian.
I went out with a lesbian once...
...maybe because she liked me.
I didn't find it weird.
There are abnormal people,
men and women.
What are your feelings
towards these abnormal people?
I feel revulsion.
- Revulsion?
- Isn't it right?
Do you feel you are the same
as everybody else here, or different?
- A little bit different.
- Why?
Well, I can't say it.
- Pardon me?
- I can't say it.
Oh, my God. It must be terrible.
What is it?
No, it's not terrible.
It's something I can't...
Well, at least tell us
in what area!
Then I will tell you.
She has a beautiful voice, really.
- So she feels different...
- No.
- ...for this reason.
- No, that's not it.
- It's not that?
- It's something else.
Since my film is about another issue,
I'll be more precise in my question.
From a sexual point of view, do you feel
totally normal as all the others, or not?
- Of course.
- Definitely, of course.
And if you were to feel different,
what would happen?
It's very unlikely that
something like that should occur.
I think the same.
But it's not up to you. It is nature itself
that sometimes makes things different.
No, I don't think it's nature,
changing in such a way
after so many years.
And if you met a boy or girl
who isn't sexually normal,
how would you feel
towards him or her?
I'd feel revolted and leave him!
But listen, from the moment
you meet him and start flirting,
I think, you can tell straight away,
can't you?
Some guys can deceive you,
they look like hot hunks, but then...
That's impossible, Caterina!
- And then?
- I think that thing...
You can see it straight away,
from the first moment you're with them.
Not that I have tried it,
let that be clear!
You don't understand how I know,
but that's how I think it is.
Let me say something.
Do you want to know these things well,
so you can tell men apart immediately?
- Not me.
- Me neither.
- You don't want to know about it?
- No, nothing.
And if you were to get married
and have children
and they were,
not by their own fault,
but for physiological reasons,
abnormal, what would you do?
These creatures are sent by God,
you have to keep them.
But they can be corrected, cured.
If they can be cured, I would resort to
any remedy, as a mother. If they can't...
But to cure them
you need to know their illness.
If you know their illness.
If I do, I'll have them cured.
If I don't, tough luck!
Anyway, Mr Pasolini,
I hope that when I get married
everything goes well.
Have you ever heard
of sexual inversions and perversions?
- I beg your pardon?
- Do you know any sexual abnormalities?
I have been there a few times.
Why is one sexually inverted?
- It might be by nature.
- What do you mean?
He was born with an impulse
to be with other men.
So there is no scientific reason
to explain it.
Well, I think it's just natural.
- It's natural.
- Natural, it's by birth.
It's not something that is acquired
through practice.
I see.
What are your feelings towards
these people? You, for instance.
- Well, I would say pity.
- And you?
- I feel sorry for them.
- Disgust.
And you?
They are literally doomed
by their disease.
He said compassion,
him disgust, and you?
Well, me, commiseration, because...
- You?
- It's disgusting anyway, if I go...
SELF-CENSORED's because he's in need.
It's disgusting.
- I see. And you?
- Same as my friend.
- That is?
- It's disgusting.
Are you easily scandalised?
I'm not.
- Definitely not.
- No.
Do you believe that in Italy,
generally, when it comes to sex,
people tend to be shocked,
or that they reason rationally?
Rationally, because some are shocked,
some aren't.
But nowadays
we tend not to be outraged.
But for instance,
faced with certain abnormalities,
certain excesses,
are people shocked?
To be shocked means,
at least as I see it,
to blush,
to feel shame and so on.
It doesn't concern me,
I am old now.
- But it is inappropriate.
- I see.
In a public place, on the street,
it's inappropriate.
If they want to do things,
they should do them privately.
Anything goes these days, anyway.
Okay, but are you shocked
by sexual abnormalities?
Well, yes.
As a man, they disgust me.
What do you feel
when you are scandalised?
Nothing. I feel inside me that
it's something that can't be right.
Something like that,
that can't be defined accurately.
A vague, obscure feeling
of unease and revulsion.
Mainly unease.
And you started off
by saying you weren't shocked!
Anyway, do you think that
in Italy outrage belongs mostly
to left-wing or right-wing people?
Well, those in the centre, I think.
I see.
Towards those people
I feel sheer revulsion, horror.
To ensure that what
shouldn't occur in a man doesn't.
That it doesn't occur
and that if it does,
tragically, that it is repressed
in the strictest way.
But repression is the true cause
of things that shouldn't be!
Prevention, rather than repression.
Prevention can save,
especially the young,
from certain vices,
from certain inclinations,
which, in my view, are abnormal.
Are you shocked
by these vices and inclinations?
I'm not shocked. It's a fact.
It's there. Whether I am shocked or not
is irrelevant. It still happens.
However, I feel
an instinctive repulsion
when I hear about these things,
which are not normal.
Can you, or would you, describe
what you feel when you are shocked?
It's outside the boundaries
of normality.
No, but inside you,
what happens when you are shocked?
I feel repulsion.
And how does this repulsion show?
I immediately move away
from such an immoral phenomenon.
And I despise those who display it.
Don't you wish to have a more
specific knowledge of sexuality?
No. I am a family man.
My experience has led me to despise
and to distance, not just myself...
There you go.
That's a good reason to be interested!
...but also my children,
from everything that is immoral,
markedly sexual and negative.
That is, everything
that is in fashion now.
If you were to find out that one of
your children has a sexual abnormality?
No! Quite the opposite!
It was just hypothetical.
Yes. My reply is also hypothetical,
but true, too.
my children are not like that.
And, secondly, sexual issues
must be viewed in the right context,
that is to say, the reproduction and
glorification of the family and the species.
I discovered a world
of scandalised people.
Moravia, are you scandalised?
No, never. Absolutely not.
The only thing that shocks me...
It's something stupid.
But even that isn't true.
I believe one must always
try to understand
that there is always a real opportunity
to understand things.
And what you understand
cannot shock you.
At the most, they lead to an opinion,
and that is legitimate,
but outrage isn't.
Can you imagine, represent,
conceive in your mind,
what it means to be shocked?
A person who is shocked
is someone who sees something
which is different from them
and, at the same time, threatening.
Not only is it different,
but it also threatens the person,
both physically
and in terms of the image
this person has of him or herself.
Outrage is fear
of losing one's personality.
- It's a primitive fear.
- They are psychologically insecure.
In other words, a conformist.
It's true, those who are shocked
are extremely insecure.
Opinions on sexual life
play a specific defensive role
for people.
Believing that things
ought to be a certain way,
according to certain standards,
certain institutions,
serves a psychological function.
For instance, it protects you
from being overwhelmed
by your impulsive instincts.
We are afraid of our instincts.
And we defend ourselves from them
with this conformism.
Indignation is thus
part of our conservation instinct.
What would you say, Moravia?
I would say that a conviction
which has been built
through reasoning
and an accurate evaluation
of reality,
is flexible enough
not to lead to indignation.
On the one hand, an imparted belief,
with no serious analysis of the reasons
why it has been passed on,
accepted out of laziness,
because it's traditional,
or through passive education,
that is conformism.
Conformism is the stubborn certainty
of those who are insecure.
- For instance...
- But conformism...
...deeply religious men
are never outraged.
It's true.
I don't think Christ was ever
scandalised. He never was.
It was the Pharisees
who were shocked.
(We suggest you think about
something else during the break.
Nothing is more tiring,
as a matter of fact, than speaking of sex.
And the worst is yet to come!)
Here we wonder if man is really
interested in anything but life.
half way through my survey,
I realise it's in a deep crisis.
Indeed, the Italians I interviewed,
on the one hand, lacked intimacy,
on the other, had absolutely
no general ideas on sexuality.
I acknowledged the status quo
and modified the questions,
sticking to a more practical level.
Do you think marriage
solves all sexual problems?
It doesn't solve sexual issues.
You speak from experience?
I have a terrible experience
of marriage.
Does your husband agree with you?
Yes. There was no sexuality, nothing.
From the start,
it was already over.
- It was a failure from the start.
- I see.
See, when a marriage
doesn't meet all your needs,
especially a woman's,
it can't be.
- Are you getting married soon?
- I say as soon as possible.
Do you think marriage will solve
all problems, even the sexual ones?
- Yes.
- You think so.
- Do you agree?
- Yes.
Do you think divorce is advisable?
- No.
- No.
For you or for everybody?
- For us.
- For everybody.
What is your opinion on divorce?
I think it is necessary for couples.
If you no longer get on,
you need to break up.
You think Italy should have a law
allowing divorce?
I think so.
- What do you think?
- Yes.
- And you?
- No, it's all wrong.
- Why?
- We would do as we please,
especially women.
It's a bond that mustn't be broken.
Apart from mental illness
and the likes.
- I see.
- In my opinion, yes.
- We need divorce?
- We need it.
Because if it's unbearable,
you're better to break up.
- And that's it.
- It's all over.
- Do you find divorce is necessary?
- Yes. In some cases, definitely.
- You think divorce should be legal in Italy?
- Yes.
Some people kill each other,
they don't get along,
they end up in prison.
It's time this was all over!
- And you?
- Yes.
- Yes. And you?
- What was the question?
Should Italians be able to divorce?
Yes, of course. We should.
- What do you say?
- Yes.
And you? Do we need divorce?
- Yes.
- Yes. Why?
Don't know!
- Do you agree?
- No, if it was allowed,
too many would feel free
to do whatever they want.
So it's better not to have divorce.
You can still leave anyway.
You can separate anyway.
- What do you think?
- Divorce is better.
- Why?
- If you don't get along,
there's no reason to stay together.
- And you?
I'm also in favour of divorce
because I like independence.
- Good.
- Me, too.
- When will you get married?
- At 32.
Do men and women have
the same sexual rights?
I think they do.
- Do they really?
- Yes.
Girls your age are as free as you?
There's always the same freedom.
Should women be virgins
when they marry?
They never make it as virgins.
In love and life, would you like
to be as free as boys your age?
- Yes.
- Yes.
Are boys and girls equally free
in this area?
- In practice, are they? In Italy?
- Yes.
Fourteen-year-old girls like you are
as free as a fourteen-year-old boy?
I don't think so.
- Do you think it's right that it's so?
- It's right.
It's right. But you told me
you'd like to be as free as a boy.
You said you'd like to be
as free as a boy.
Then, is it right?
- What do you think, miss?
- I don't think so.
Are they free or...
- They shouldn't be.
- They shouldn't be. Why?
Well, from many perspectives
that you can't...
Why not? Say it.
Can't you say?
It's not that I can't say it.
I can't explain myself.
Because women
need to stay in their place.
And men... They wear the hat,
as we say.
They can move around,
but women must be reserved,
because when a woman is married
to a man, she must be reserved,
she can't do as she pleases.
- But why?
- Because it's not right.
And men can do as they please?
No, not as they please,
but men need more freedom.
- But why?
- What do you mean, why?
Because they're men!
- Where are you from?
- I was born in Monza.
I've lived in Milan for two years.
I work in Milan.
Sexually speaking, do you think you are
more hot-blooded, ardent, stronger
than Southerners or not?
I'd say no, because here in Lombardy
we're calmer, more balanced,
and for other reasons,
such as education,
birth or work commitments...
In some ways, we neglect
those activities
that aren't strictly work-related.
Therefore, sex and women
for us are,
I can't say
of secondary importance,
but they are a hobby,
a rather marginal one.
Does marriage solve sexual problems?
You, miss.
- No, definitely not.
- It doesn't.
In fact, it makes it
more complicated.
Do you think sexual honour,
women being virgins when they marry,
are these all outdated concepts?
They are wrong. Virgin or not...
It's wrong.
- What about you guys?
- It doesn't matter.
Isn't virginity important in a woman?
For you?
- It depends on the man's character.
- Yes.
You don't see it
as being very important.
No, for me it is.
I mean, if she goes and...
If there are grave problems,
do you think divorce is the right thing?
I think so, because you get fed up
of being bound to the same man.
- Is divorce right?
- Not for me.
- Why?
- Not for me.
Because I believe
when two people marry,
they do it because they love each other.
They swear to God to be together.
- To be loyal.
- It's the priest that says it!
It's the priest. It's the law,
the law of God, of the Church.
In Italy we have a religion.
A religion that must be respected.
What about those cases
where the husband,
disgracefully oblivious to this religion,
stabs his wife?
- Wouldn't it be best to avoid it?
- No. He's a madman then.
He needs to be committed
to an asylum.
And what about the poor wife?
Let's assume the husband is crazy.
He's committed. What about the wife?
Doesn't she have the right to divorce
and build a new life?
No. No.
Based on a woman's intelligence,
on her intuition...
Exactly. But if divorce isn't legal,
she can't start a new life.
She should find a man.
If she wants a partner, she should
have one. But not with divorce.
With divorce,
when there are children,
they marry again, they are together
and have more children.
- Children here, children there!
- A disaster!
It's a disaster. What would become
of our country in the future?
Can anybody define sexual honour?
- You?
- Maybe. Sexual honour?
In my view,
women are mostly evangelical.
- I don't get it.
- Woman is angelic.
In the way Dante saw her.
For us, here in Calabria.
And this sexual honour?
In what way is it damaged?
- A woman's purity.
- Spiritual and physical purity.
And moral.
- Hopefully!
- Sexual honour is only for women?
- Well...
- Yes, only for women.
Is it fair for women to have
less sexual rights than men?
- Yes.
- Say what you honestly think.
I think women have
the same rights as men.
- The same rights as men. Good.
- Yes.
Can you describe the dramatic
man-woman relationship in Calabria?
Describe it? The woman must be upright.
She must know her place.
For Southerners,
women are meant to be mothers.
They're not meant to work,
go to the cinema or the cafe
by themselves, as they do in the North.
- Can't go to a cafe on their own?
- It's unacceptable here for them, alone.
- But why?
- It's all...
There is a reason.
You, little one.
Would you like to go out for coffee
by yourself, when you're older?
- Yes.
And tell me, why do men
here in Calabria demand
you be reserved and serious,
so unlike them?
Maybe it's because they're a bit jealous.
Listen carefully. If your parents
no longer loved each other,
would you rather they divorced
or that they stayed together?
Why would you divorce? To remarry?
And make the same mistakes again?
That is no argument.
You should be free
to make other mistakes, why not?
You can do it anyway,
if you're a man.
- It's the women who can't do otherwise.
- There we go again.
- It's always the same story!
- Divorced men can do as they please!
I meant separated.
Listen, beautiful, the pleasant surprise
in my survey are girls like you.
In a context
of widespread conformism,
you young girls are the only ones
with clear and daring ideas.
- Are you in favour of divorce?
- Me? No.
- No. Why not?
- Because I'm from Calabria.
You are from Calabria
and therefore against divorce?
I don't see the connection.
I say that if you marry a girl,
if you get along,
why should you divorce?
They wouldn't if they get on,
but what if they don't?
If they don't,
they can work it out,
so they do get along.
But sometimes the wife
kills the husband, or vice versa.
But this happens because of jealousy.
We are very jealous.
Isn't divorce better than murder?
No, no. Where's the honour?
- It's better to kill than to divorce!
- What shows a man's honour?
His intelligence,
his ability to control his feelings.
Because with divorce...
Let's say I'm married. My wife...
Cheats on you!
If I divorced,
I would always be a cuckold.
So, it's better...
Excuse me, miss,
are you intimidated by that terrible thing
that are sexual issues?
Well, yes, quite.
- Why?
- I can't explain it.
In your view,
when it comes to sex,
do a boy and a young lady like you
enjoy the same freedom?
I think so.
The same freedom?
You are as free as a boy your age?
I think so.
Do you think
yours is a special case,
or is it so in the whole of Italy,
or Venice?
I think it's everybody.
To be honest, I don't know,
because women always need
to feel they're women,
thus slightly inferior to men.
We'd like to be superior, but sometimes
it's convenient to feel inferior.
Do you see sex as a terrible problem
or do you tackle it with no fuss?
No. To me it's very important.
- It's terrible, I would say.
- Are you scared to face it?
Yes. Talking about it with you?
No, not talking with me.
Generally, is it an issue
that intimidates you,
or do you face it with no fear?
Well, I am shy,
so I try to find the courage
to face things,
otherwise you stay as you are.
Antonella, are you afraid
of addressing this terrible issue?
I was. Now, I am a bit less shy.
Is it better to talk about these things
in Italian society or not?
Yes, I believe so.
- And you?
- Me, too, for sure.
In general, people either
ignore those issues,
or they aren't familiar
with the terminology,
because to discuss them,
you can either use bad language,
or terms that are too specific.
Can this be the reason
behind such silence, Antonella?
I think you need
to talk about it for a long time
before you can say what you want to.
Especially in Italy.
It's hard to discuss it there and then,
as we're not used to it,
because of our education,
our custom, our traditions.
In your case, you should get to know
your interviewees better,
and keep pushing, maybe wasting a lot
of film, until you get what you want.
Are you in favour of divorce?
Here in Italy, how can you say?
My God!
It would be better, I think.
Will marriage solve your sexual problems,
assuming you aren't married yet?
I don't know.
I don't want to get married yet.
I haven't thought about it.
Do you think Italian men's sexuality
is fulfilled in marriage?
That's the problem. They should but don't.
That's why so many separate.
If marriage truly was the most
important thing, the right thing,
we wouldn't have
all these problems,
all those things that happen in Italy,
murders and so on.
Do you agree, Antonella?
You know,
Italian men solve their problems
with infidelity.
And I think it's wrong.
Their relationship with their wife
should be more transparent.
I don't speak from personal experience,
but from other people's.
- Are you married?
- I am.
- For many years?
- Many. 35.
This is the question,
has marriage solved
your sexual problems completely?
Yes. I am very satisfied.
I'd do it again, anytime.
Do you think your husband
would say the same?
Do you think that it's just you,
or is it generally the case?
If they're all like my husband,
it's in general.
But if a couple isn't as happy
as you and your husband,
do you think
divorce can be a solution?
Yes, of course.
So you would introduce divorce in Italy,
if you could?
Yes, of course.
When two people don't get along,
you shouldn't make life
impossible for either one.
Does marriage fulfill all sexual needs?
Definitely not.
For what reasons?
What's left out?
In my opinion,
marriage is too mundane.
After a while,
it is bound to die off.
So, I think it's...
When the sexual drive in marriage dies,
what should one do?
Divorce, without a doubt.
Divorce only for sexual reasons?
I'd say so, because even
if there aren't any reasons...
Even if there aren't any valid reasons,
serious issues,
the fact that the sexual drive
has died off in itself is sufficient.
If one of the two is no longer
drawn to the other,
that in itself is enough to...
To make the couple unhappy.
- Do you agree?
- No, definitely not.
I think the complete opposite.
In fact, maybe he's single.
He doesn't know what marriage is about,
has no children.
Therefore, he cannot judge marriage.
- Is this your son?
- Of course.
Yes, this is my son.
And marriage is something different.
Marriage is sacred, something that
can't be described in a few words.
It's not based
on a couple's sexual life.
The sexual life, after a while,
is something distant, different.
It even becomes a complement
to married life,
because marriage is something else.
- I see. It's a social commitment.
- Yes, of course.
In a way,
you are defending the family.
Yes, of course.
Do you think the family should be
the founding basis for society?
- Of course.
- Why?
Family is the basis of society,
of the nation.
It's the way it is. No doubt.
- But why?
- Why? I'll tell you now.
Within the family children are raised,
citizens are formed,
the future is shaped, the nation,
the people of the future.
If children aren't taught
family values,
how can they grow to be men,
with morals,
with moral principles to follow?
What's your view?
The family is outdated.
It's an institution which...
I am not married.
- Of course, you are free to say...
- That's it.
...I have no insight and can't judge
the family, as I have none.
Your judgement is rash.
Maybe. But I think
that the family is...
So, you think children can also
be educated outside the family.
There are dozens of other ways
to raise them.
Other social institutions
that can substitute the family,
and maybe do even better, providing
a socially more open education.
I'll give you a real example.
Bruno, do you want to be
with him or dad?
All children like to be with their dad!
That tells you everything!
Can I ask another question?
Are institutions meant to be eternal?
Can't they be changed?
Not for me.
Maybe I'm old-fashioned.
To me, the family is sacred.
It's the basis for everything else,
society, the nation,
the people, everything.
Do you think
you are an upright person?
Well, in a way, yes.
- In a way?
- I'm no murderer nor thief, therefore...
Who do you think divorces?
A good person?
- Well, no.
- Why not?
Because society is founded
on the family.
Thus, they set a bad example
for society.
It's like betrayal.
In the modern world,
is the sexual issue important or not?
- The what issue?
- sexual
- I don't understand.
- You don't want to understand.
Is sex very important
in contemporary society?
Well, no.
- Is it for you?
- No.
I must therefore infer that
to you the most exciting issue
isn't your relationship with women
in the future.
Look, my big problem
is to find a friend
to spend the rest of my life with,
in happiness.
That's it!
Very good. Since you have it all
figured out,
what difference do you see
between love and sex?
There is a big difference,
because love is...
What's the word?
Love is the basis of society,
the reason why
we have families, children,
whilst sex is something
that lowers men beneath animals.
What is the relationship between
sexuality and the love for your country?
The love for one's country is what led
to the sacrifice of many heroes.
Sexuality is love towards a woman.
What can I say?
Well, my boy, if someone
gives his life for his country,
someone else is killing him
for the very same reason.
Do you think my survey
depicts the true Italy, Moravia?
Or rather, is it
a partial image of Italy?
Besides, the people
who came up to me
were selecting themselves.
Which one is the true Italy?
The one seen through my survey?
Or the one that is not seen?
You did interview the true Italy,
but the one that didn't want
to be interviewed is just as real.
Those two Italys make up
a picture of a united Italy,
the historical Italy,
a country created by history.
The two can't be separated.
They integrate and explain each other.
Those who answered
did so in that way,
because many people
chose not to answer at all.
I feel something important
is missing in my film.
A hole, represented
by the Italian middle class,
those who don't answer.
Fill that hole,
by explaining their silence.
Why they don't answer,
that's a rather complicated issue.
In my opinion,
it is for two reasons.
Firstly, because to answer
would mean to break a taboo
and question oneself,
look inside oneself.
Secondly, because they fear
they can hurt themselves,
socially, if they answer.
They are afraid both of betraying
their professional dignity,
their social decorum,
their position in society,
and, more subtly,
of commitment.
The Italian middle class is afraid
of being serious, of seriousness.
Gaiety is like a rubber band,
tied to words,
which, as soon as they are uttered,
bounce back.
A middle-class person joking
makes no commitment.
He says something, but it leads him
to believe it could be something else,
or maybe nothing at all.
But you are asking them
to give you their opinion,
seriously and, on top of that,
on an issue
carrying a number of historical,
religious, moral taboos. Fancy that!
"God made all things
in the world worthy,
"all things good and beautiful...
Final sprint:
here the writer, having abandoned
any idealistic ambition,
gathers information for a great monument
to the very old, very innocent,
very hot Italy of the 1960s.
Look, these are the last encounters
about sexual issues in Italy.
I wanted to hear the workers' opinion,
for instance, on the Merlin Act.
- The Merlin Act. For me it's rubbish.
- Why?
Because there are
many sexual diseases.
And ugly men have a right
to be with women, too.
I see.
At least those brutes won't be
kicking them out of their cars and so on.
I see. And your view?
It's wrong.
- Why?
- They should have kept the brothels.
We would have avoided
many diseases.
Today 30 to 40%
of young people are ill.
Because there are no controls,
they are like dogs.
Especially for the young,
as there are so many diseases.
Because at 14, they lie
with those women and fall ill.
It's a public scandal,
and even the brothels...
It's outdated stuff.
So there should be no prostitution?
In French style... Unfortunately.
How would you solve
the problem of prostitution?
Like before. With brothels.
That's the best thing, I think.
It seems to me that these ideas
are conservative,
not worthy of Milan's workers.
I don't think so
because today on the streets,
with all the diseases we have,
I don't know...
This thing about illnesses has been
refuted by scientific research.
It's just an excuse.
- What do you want me to say?
- Depends on who gets them!
What are your views
on prostitution?
Are brothels a better choice?
And in your opinion?
I think this law was excellent.
It was based on good principles.
It was well designed,
but the current government
didn't interpret it the right way.
You are young and have never been
to brothels, what do you say?
I can't speak here.
- Do you wish they were allowed?
- Who? Me? For me, no.
You are happy
with the way things are.
All the girls I know are my age.
See, the young are starting
to get things right.
This is the situation, isn't it?
In my view, it is society...
Unfortunately, we know
where the older ones stand.
It's the young we need to clean up.
To clean up our youth,
we need to clean the whole of society,
which is based on exploitation.
They exploit us workers here
in the factory,
women are exploited
in a different context.
It's the whole of society
that must be changed.
We must shape a more conscious,
more human society. That is sure.
What were you saying
about prostitution in Naples?
I didn't understand.
What were you saying
about prostitution here in Naples?
- Are you interviewing me?
- Yes. Tell me.
Do you think
it was better with brothels?
A lot better.
Firstly, for hygiene.
Secondly, for our youth.
- You young ones, what do you say?
- What can one say?
Say it!
- That's it!
- What?
You need 3,000 lira
to be with a woman.
A young man like him
doesn't have that money.
Believe me. Shut up!
Shut up! I'll tell him.
Here in Naples, to have 3,000 lira
you need to work two days.
But what about the brothels?
In the brothels,
the cost was 300 lira.
That was a realistic sum
for a young man.
Now those young men
find animals,
wild beasts, that is, other men
who are after youngsters,
and give them 100-200 lira.
Naples' youth has become all the same,
because of a system that...
You know what I'm saying.
Because there's no money
for the young in Naples.
And this is Merlin's fault,
who closed down the brothels in Naples,
because having to pay 300 lira,
couldn't find a girl to have fun with,
and didn't turn into
what he might turn into.
If we don't find a solution,
Naples will become even worse.
You're right.
If the danger becomes...
What does the miller
from Porta Capuana say?
From morning until night,
they go down there
and don't leave
until they go home.
They make 3,000 lira,
damage their health,
then go with those women
and spend another 3,000 lira.
And end up in hospital.
This is the city of Naples!
It's unemployment that turns people
into this. That's all I have to say!
What were you saying about brothels,
were they better or worse?
- Better.
- Why?
What do you mean, why?
It's better, more orderly.
You can't see it.
It's more decent.
Not like these women on the streets,
showing everything.
I know, but wouldn't it be better
if there was no prostitution at all?
- That can't be.
- Why not?
Because it has always existed.
Women are protected
because it has always existed.
Because before they were always...
It has always existed, even
in Nero's time they had prostitution.
In all times, it was always there.
It would be better,
more decent and nicer,
if the law also provided for it.
- The government should act as a pimp?
- They should be more generous.
No, I said pimp. What do you call
the man who protects the women?
We call him ricottaro.
- In Rome they say magnaccia.
- The State should be the ricottaro?
- No, not that.
- I beg your pardon.
Excuse me, the ricottaro, the pimp,
pockets the women's money.
The government would pocket
the women's money.
No, the government doesn't live
off the women's back.
- But it could...
- But what is your criteria...
- Excuse me.
- Can we say a word, too?
Come here.
You can say whatever, but in Naples
the music never changes.
The music has changed,
but the maestro is the same.
- You got it?
- And what is the music?
The music of despair
because there is never enough money.
You make 1,000 lira,
but you need 1,500 lira.
They raise your pay to 1,000 lira,
and you spend 1,300 lira.
Okay, but we're discussing brothels.
Brothels! This might be a good thing.
- Are brothels better?
- It's the only thing, finding that stuff.
Do you unanimously agree?
If a referendum was held in Naples...
For instance,
a soldier earns 140 lira a day.
Now he has to go with a woman
who charges him little,
yet he can't even buy...
...we know it's there.
We need to use this language!
You need to be straightforward!
Now you go there
to satisfy your passions,
exposing yourself to all the dangers
a woman can cause,
because the women can be ill,
just as the soldier can.
Shouldn't we give the soldier a raise,
rather than re-open the brothels?
It doesn't help,
because if wages go up,
so do the women's rates.
I've asked many people
what they think of the Merlin Act.
- They're all against it. You?
- I am not.
Good. Why not?
Because it allows us
to be on the street.
We're tired of being prostitutes
on the streets.
So you liked it better
before the Merlin Act?
Yes, before it was very good.
- And you?
- I'm tired of this dirty life.
You think it was better
before the Merlin Act?
Yes, it was.
What do you think?
The same.
As a man, do you think it was better
before the Merlin Act or now?
- It was better before.
- Before?
- Why?
- There weren't as many scandals.
Who is shocked?
All the people walking by,
the children,
who see one of us
working on the street,
so it was better before,
when we worked in the brothel.
- Wasn't it better?
- Are Neapolitans easily shocked?
Yes, of course, they are shocked.
My God.
What do you think?
- You don't want to talk. Why not?
- She's shy.
How are the men of Naples?
Are they nice?
Very nice,
but they don't want to pay.
They don't want to pay the money!
- They mustn't have the money!
- So they want it for free?
They say that with the Merlin Act
diseases have increased.
- Is it true?
- No, it's not true. We're good.
Okay. ls it true that after the Merlin Act
diseases have increased?
It was better before than now.
Are there more diseases?
Before we had a medical check-up,
now nothing.
What do you think?
- I can't answer this question.
- She's a decent woman.
And can't you answer, madam?
Are there more diseases now, or not?
No, they are worse than before.
- Worse than before? I see.
- Worse.
Can we say we signed a lease
five months ago but have no home?
But that's not
because of the Merlin Act.
It's because of
the Christian Democrats!
The Merlin Act is just
an excuse for discussion,
but how do you, Buttita,
see it enforced here in Sicily?
The truth is that in Sicily
we keep following the old ways.
I take it that here, too,
people miss regulated prostitution.
For Sicily, for young Sicilians,
brothels were more convenient.
Without them, they don't know
where to go, what to do.
As a matter of fact,
corruption is rampant now.
We don't see it, we don't know it,
but young men try to unwind
with animals.
- You don't say!
- With cows, goats, anyway.
Ghastly things take place
in the countryside.
You heard him. Is it true?
It sounds impossible.
With animals!
In some areas of Sicily,
there are towns and cities
that are more evolved.
Often you see young ladies and
young men going out, taking a stroll.
- We're not backward.
- A stroll isn't much.
Since there's nothing else,
we're happy with taking a walk.
Is this why you are
against the Merlin Act?
No. Really, I am against it.
- You know why?
- Why don't you make do with walks?
Because of our instincts,
we're not satisfied with mere strolls!
Because otherwise you're
mistaken for... How can I say it?
- For... You see? For a queer.
- I see.
If a boy only walks with a girl
and doesn't get as intimate
as he should, it's self-explanatory.
- To prove yourself, you need prostitutes.
- That's it.
But that might change in Sicily.
In time, as we evolve.
By building factories, plants in Sicily.
Because Sicily is still underexploited.
It's not exploited.
Yes, you are right. Let's hear it
from the guy with the beret.
In Palermo before,
with 1,500 lira you...
So, you were saying before
that when you went to Germany
you were free to make love to women.
- Yes.
- Why don't you do that in Palermo,
instead of calling for brothels
to be reopened?
Because in Palermo there is jealousy,
starting from men's jealousy.
I see, but why don't you change?
- Because we are not united.
- You'd have to change the land.
- Now change is impossible.
- It's nature.
You said that you wanted
to change your mentality.
- Yes.
- You said it. And now?
But now it's over. Our tradition will
always be the same, nothing we can do.
Old traditions
never change in Palermo.
Old traditions? But someone said that
if we change the economic conditions...
Let's say women could work,
like they do in Germany.
- They would all be free.
- That's it.
Freedom is conquered through work.
In Germany, they work from when
they're 12 to old age.
- They are all equally free.
- So you see, it's not just Palermo.
In Palermo,
if a woman goes to work,
her brother grabs her and says,
"Where are you off to?"
"To work."
"You can't go. The boss will harass you."
Do you understand? And so...
So you agree that if economic
conditions changed in Palermo...
When employers learn
how to behave with girls!
- Only then!
- When?
When employers are polite
towards women.
But the boss can't have sex
with one hundred workers.
Just the one.
One a day,
and you get all of them.
- Especially in Palermo.
- We need to get rid of capitalism.
Look, here in Palermo, for Sicilians
one a day is very easily done.
Even two a day.
Here's the conclusion
of our survey,
yelled out from the lower classes
and the deepest instincts.
Workers from Milan, Florence,
Naples, Palermo,
united in unanimous protest against
a modern and democratic law,
hence forced to own up
to certain impelling desires,
before which we'd all like
to bury our head in the sand.
Or, if we're willing to talk about them,
we do so with disarming superficiality
or hopeless confusion.
We've seen all this in a country
blessed by an economic miracle,
whilst naively hoping
to find the signals of a simultaneous
cultural and spiritual miracle.
On the contrary,
if this survey has any value,
it is a negative one,
one of demystification.
The spirit of a materially wealthy Italy
is tragically refuted
by real Italians.
Are men really interested
in anything but living?
Tonino and Graziella
are getting married.
Of their love, they only know
that it is love.
Congratulations, madam.
Of their unborn children,
they only know that they'll be children.
Life is especially merciless
when it is gay and innocent.
Two young Italians are getting married.
And on their day,
all previous good and evil
seem to vanish,
as the memory
of the storm in calmness.
All rights are cruel,
and they,
by exercising their rights
to be what their fathers
and mothers were,
merely confirm,
dear as they are to life,
life's gaiety and innocence.
Thus, the knowledge
of good and evil, history,
which is neither gay nor innocent,
is always faced with the ruthless
oblivion of those who live,
with its supreme humbleness.
Tonino and Graziella are getting married.
And those who know keep quiet,
before their grace,
which doesn't want to know.
Instead, silence is to blame.
May our wish
for Tonino and Graziella be:
May your love be enriched
by the awareness of your love.