Not far from the splendour of tourist Rome are the slum suburbs. Here immigrants from village and countryside, lured to the capital by promises of work, gather and make a painful accommodation with the modern world. A new generation emerges, full of unreal hopes, wily and resourceful, brutal and vulnerable. "A Violent Life", first published in Italy in 1959, is the story of that generation. Written by the renowned film maker, poet, polemicist and novelist Pier Paolo Pasolini, "A Violent Life" is an uncanny fictional chronicle of the author's death foretold. It is the story of Tommaso Puzzilli, a street hood and survivor, one of the ragazzi di vita born of the shantytown and resorting to crime and prostitution to get what he wants. When a flood ravages the slums, he becomes an unexpected hero. Pasolini is a legend whose brutal murder at the hand of one of the ragazzi di vita remains a major unsolved mystery.
Pier Paolo Pasolini was born in 1922 and spent his childhood in the Friuli region of northeast Italy. In 1950 he moved to Rome, where he saw first hand the horrendous living conditions of its suburbs' immigrant inhabitants. Already a major poet, novelist and polemicist, he started working in the film industry in 1957, and during the 1960s and early 70s established a reputation as a daring and skilled director. He was murdered in 1975, although controversy continues to surround the circumstances of his death.