An ascetic poster of Pasolini’s film (in a style reflecting the essence of human history according to Pasolini)

The wealthy family of the owner of the factory Paolo before the start of their ordeal

The existentially spiritual ordeal of the family has begun. The family members are already no longer what these people were before

Pasolini’s symbolic view of the human path towards the future, from the beginning of human history to modernity

It was not understandable to the family members (and the film viewers) idea (which “strange” visitor temporarily living with the family had) that the reason for the father’s illness is a result of an incredible burden based on the necessity to make many unnatural decisions during his life of a person who moved towards wealthy and responsible position and high social status. According to the “guest” of the family, he will try to symbolically take away the burden from the soul-body of the father and, may be, this support on a part of not a therapist, but just another human being will help.

Of course, the point here is not only to put the sick father’s legs exhausted from his long tireless moving through wilderness and civilization to our times – on the shoulders of another human being, but to project, to transfer to the one who is morally exhausted and disappointed and even shocked – the energy of vitality and the power of truth.

These words belong to Paolo (Massimo Girotti), the head of the wealthy family and they addressed to their guest (Terence Stamp) who helped Paolo to be cured from his spiritual exhaustion. But the success of this and other actions of the visitor in relation to the other family members doesn’t mean resolving their many tormenting problems. Conversely, it brought other difficulties, although simultaneously, somehow made these people to feel the incredible power in their souls, combined with no less incredible humility.

Paolo’s ability to recover the seriousness and responsibility of his decisions and actions became enriched with his capability to question his own positions and way of life. He felt stronger and more sublime, less self-centered and more self-critical, less self-motivated and more world-attentive. He became more and at the same time – less than a human being occupied with his aggressive projects and plans and making him proud as somebody like the master of the world around.

Now, Paolo (Massimo Girotti) is questioning the world including himself, the world creation including his personal participation in its co-creation, the world in its habitual ways.

Paolo (Massimo Girotti) is questioning the Past of Creation including his own life in his past. He demands answers. He demands explanations. He, a human being, demands dialogue with what is the absolute. He questions what he always thought is the absolute that demands silence from everything. He questions what is absolute.

Paolo demands from Creator new – alive words. He wants to hear from Him new concepts. He wants to answer Him. He wants to think together. He wants to learn what he doesn’t know. And, may be, he wants to participate in Re-Creation – in renewal of life, in renovation of the world.

Through love the house guest, “the visitor” gave to every person he attended while living in Paolo and Lucia’s (Silvana Mangano) family, intuitive knowledge which they now became aware inside themselves, tells them that they lived in a too conformist manner, too passively, too routinely, too inertly and at the same time – too arrogantly. They were appendixes to their impulses. They were slaves of their own capriciousness, a kind of drones nesting in the material comforts. They implied that they are like gods. The text on this still is their words to “the visitor” (Terence Stamp). We see him in this still – he will remember these words… forever. Now he is proud of these people. No, not proud – he loves them, in a new way.