GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST. MATTHEW
The birth, life, teachings
and death on the cross of Jesus Christ presented almost as a cinema-verite
documentary. Applying Neo-Realist methods, writer/director Pier
Paolo Pasolini takes Christ out of the opulent church and presents
him as an outcast Italian peasant in this expressive interpretation
of the greatest story ever told.
Review by David Bruce
THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST. MATTHEW
Il Vangelo secondo Matteo
This page was created on February 3, 2002
This page was last updated on May 21, 2005
by Pier Paolo Pasolini
Written by Pier Paolo Pasolini
Irazoqui .... Christ
Margherita Caruso .... Mary (younger)
Susanna Pasolini .... Mary (older)
Marcello Morante .... Joseph
Mario Socrate .... John the Baptist
Settimio Di Porto .... Peter
Alfonso Gatto .... Andrew
Luigi Barbini .... James
Giacomo Morante .... John
Giorgio Agamben .... Philip
Guido Cerretani .... Bartholomew
Rosario Migale .... Thomas
Ferruccio Nuzzo .... Matthew
Marcello Galdini .... James son of Alphus
Elio Spaziani .... Thaddeus
Enzo Siciliano .... Simon
Otello Sestili .... Jude
Rodolfo Wilcock .... Caiphus
Alessandro Clerici .... Pontius Pilate
Amerigo Bevilacqua .... Herod I
Francesco Leonetti .... Herod II
Franca Cupane .... Herodiade
Paola Tedesco .... Salome
Rossana Di Rocco .... Angel of the Lord
Renato Terra .... Posessed one
Eliseo Boschi .... Joseph of Arimathea
Natalia Ginzburg .... Mary of Bethania
Ninetto Davoli .... Shepherd
Enrico Maria Salerno .... Voice of Christ (voice)
by Alfredo Bini
Original music by Luis Enr?quez Bacalov, Carlo Rustichelli
Non-original music by Johann Sebastian Bach, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,
Sergei Prokofiev and Anton Webern
Cinematography by Tonino Delli Colli
Film Editing by Nino Baragli
For rating reasons, go to FILMRATINGS.COM,
Parents, please refer to PARENTALGUIDE.ORG
life of Jesus Christ
according to the Gospel of Matthew.
The birth, life, teachings and death on the cross of Jesus Christ
presented almost as a cinema-verite documentary. Applying Neo-Realist
methods, writer/director Pier Paolo Pasolini takes Christ out of the
opulent church and presents him as an outcast Italian peasant in this
expressive interpretation of the greatest story ever told.
This is how Jesus Christ was born. A young woman named Mary was
engaged to Joseph from King David?s family. But before they were
married, she learned that she was going to have a baby by God?s
Holy Spirit. Joseph was a good man and did not want to embarrass
Mary in front of everyone. So he decided to quietly call off the
While Joseph was thinking about this, an angel from the Lord came
to him in a dream. The angel said, ?Joseph, the baby that Mary will
have is from the Holy Spirit. Go ahead and marry her. Then after
her baby is born, name him Jesus, because he will save his people
from their sins.?
the Lord?s promise came true, just as the prophet had said, ?A virgin
will have a baby boy, and he will be called Immanuel,? which means
?God is with us.?
Joseph woke up, he and Mary were soon married, just as the Lord?s
angel had told him to do. But they did not sleep together before
her baby was born. Then Joseph named him Jesus.
When Jesus was born in the village of Bethlehem in Judea, Herod
was king. During this time some wise men from the east came to Jerusalem
and said, ?Where is the child born to be king of the Jews? We saw
his star in the east and have come to worship him.?
King Herod heard about this, he was worried, and so was everyone
else in Jerusalem. Herod brought together the chief priests and
the teachers of the Law of Moses and asked them, ?Where will the
Messiah be born??
told him, ?He will be born in Bethlehem, just as the prophet wrote,
?Bethlehem in the land of Judea, you are very important among the
towns of Judea. From your town will come a leader, who will be like
a shepherd for my people Israel.? ?
secretly called in the wise men and asked them when they had first
seen the star. He told them, ?Go to Bethlehem and search carefully
for the child. As soon as you find him, let me know. I want to go
and worship him too.?
The wise men listened to what the king said and then left. And
the star they had seen in the east went on ahead of them until
it stopped over the place where the child was. They were thrilled
and excited to see the star. When the men went into the house
and saw the child with Mary, his mother, they knelt down and worshiped
him. They took out their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh
and gave them to him. Later they were warned in a dream not to
return to Herod, and they went back home by another road.
After the wise men had gone, an angel from the Lord appeared to
Joseph in a dream and said, ?Get up! Hurry and take the child
and his mother to Egypt! Stay there until I tell you to return,
because Herod is looking for the child and wants to kill him.?
night, Joseph got up and took his wife and the child to Egypt,
where they stayed until Herod died. So the Lord?s promise came
true, just as the prophet had said, ?I called my son out of Egypt.?
When Herod found out that the wise men from the east had tricked him,
he was very angry. He gave orders for his men to kill all the boys
who lived in or near Bethlehem and were two years old and younger.
This was based on what he had learned from the wise men. So the Lord?s
promise came true, just as the prophet Jeremiah had said, ?In Ramah
a voice was heard crying and weeping loudly. Rachel was mourning for
her children, and she refused to be comforted, because they were dead.?
After King Herod died, an angel from the Lord appeared in a dream
to Joseph while he was still in Egypt.
angel said, ?Get up and take the child and his mother back to
Israel. The people who wanted to kill him are now dead.?
Joseph got up and left with them for Israel. But when he heard
that Herod?s son Archelaus was now ruler of Judea, he was afraid
to go there. Then in a dream he was told to go to Galilee, and
they went to live there in the town of Nazareth. So the Lord?s
promise came true, just as the prophet had said, ?He will be called
Preaching of John the Baptist
The Baptism of Jesus
Years later, John the Baptist started preaching in the desert of
Judea. He said, ?Turn back to God! The kingdom of heaven will soon
was the one the prophet Isaiah was talking about, when he said,
?In the desert someone is shouting, ?Get the road ready for the
Lord! Make a straight path for him.? ?
wore clothes made of camel?s hair. He had a leather strap around
his waist and ate grasshoppers and wild honey. From Jerusalem and
all Judea and from the Jordan River Valley crowds of people went
to John. They told how sorry they were for their sins, and he baptized
them in the river.
Pharisees and Sadducees also came to be baptized. But John said
to them: You bunch of snakes! Who warned you to run from the coming
judgment? Do something to show that you have really given up your
sins. And don?t start telling yourselves that you belong to Abraham?s
family. I tell you that God can turn these stones into children
for Abraham. An ax is ready to cut the trees down at their roots.
Any tree that doesn?t produce good fruit will be chopped down and
thrown into a fire. I baptize you with water so that you will give
up your sins. But someone more powerful is going to come, and I
am not good enough even to carry his sandals. He will baptize you
with the Holy Spirit and with fire. His threshing fork is in his
hand, and he is ready to separate the wheat from the husks. He will
store the wheat in a barn and burn the husks in a fire that never
Jesus left Galilee and went to the Jordan River to be baptized by
John. But John kept objecting and said, ?I ought to be baptized
by you. Why have you come to me??
answered, ?For now this is how it should be, because we must do
all that God wants us to do.?
John agreed. So Jesus was baptized. And as soon as he came out of
the water, the sky opened, and he saw the Spirit of God coming down
on him like a dove. Then a voice from heaven said, ?This is my own
dear Son, and I am pleased with him.?
The Holy Spirit led Jesus into the desert, so that the devil could
test him. After Jesus had gone without eating for forty days and
nights, he was very hungry.
the devil came to him and said, ?If you are God?s Son, tell these
stones to turn into bread.?
answered, ?The Scriptures say: ?No one can live only on food. People
need every word that God has spoken.? ?
the devil took Jesus to the holy city and had him stand on the highest
part of the temple. The devil said, ?If you are God?s Son, jump
off. The Scriptures say: ?God will give his angels orders about
you. They will catch you in their arms, and you won?t hurt your
feet on the stones.? ?
answered, ?The Scriptures also say, ?Don?t try to test the Lord
your God!? ?
the devil took Jesus up on a very high mountain and showed him all
the kingdoms on earth and their power. The devil said to him, ?I
will give all this to you, if you will bow down and worship me.?
answered, ?Go away Satan! The Scriptures say: ?Worship the Lord
your God and serve only him.? ? Then the devil left Jesus, and angels
came to help him.
Call(ing of the disciples)
Jesus Begins His Work
While Jesus was walking along the shore of Lake Galilee, he saw
two brothers. One was Simon, also known as Peter, and the other
was Andrew. They were fishermen, and they were casting their net
into the lake.
said to them, ?Come with me! I will teach you how to bring in
people instead of fish.?
then the two brothers dropped their nets and went with him. Jesus
walked on until he saw James and John, the sons of Zebedee. They
were in a boat with their father, mending their nets. Jesus asked
them to come with him too. Right away they left the boat and their
father and went with Jesus.
As Jesus came down the mountain, he was followed by large crowds.
Suddenly a man with leprosy came and knelt in front of Jesus.
said, ?Lord, you have the power to make me well, if only you wanted
put his hand on the man and said, ?I want to! Now you are well.?
once the man?s leprosy disappeared. Jesus told him, ?Don?t tell
anyone about this, but go and show the priest that you are well.
Then take a gift to the temple just as Moses commanded, and everyone
will know that you have been healed.?
The Gospel According to St. Matthew ? 1964 Pier Paolo Pasolini.
Contemporary English, Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas
Nelson) 1997, c1995 by the American Bible Society.