Medea is a film written and directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini, that was originally released in 1969. Its plot is based on the Greek myth of Medea, and stars opera singer Maria Callas in her sole film role.
In the first part of the film, it is shown how Jason and the Argonauts started their expedition to the land where Medea resided, in order to retrieve the Golden Fleece. The inhabitants of that land were shown as barbaric, and performed savage rituals in order to secure a bountiful harvest. A young man was shown to be bound to a wooden structure, and after being dismembered, his organs and his blood were sprinkled over the crops to secure the fertility of the land. After Jason and his comrades arrived in Colchis, they started killing the villagers. Medea decided to help Jason, so with the help of her brother Absyrtus, she stole the Golden Fleece and gave it to Jason. They all tried to escape being pursued by Colchian soldiers, and Medea, in order to stall them, killed her brother and scattered all of his body parts; the soldiers were then forced to stop and collect the pieces of the king's son, thus enabling the protagonists to escape.
When they returned to Greece, the two lovers lived well for some time, and had two sons. However, Jason then abandoned Medea in order to marry the Corinthian princess Glauce. A furious Medea vowed revenge, and sent a magic robe to Glauce. Pasolini decided to introduce two versions of how Glauce died; according to the first, she put on the robe, which immediately caught fire and burned her alive, along with her father Creon who tried to put out the flames. The second version shows Glauce wearing the robe of Medea and then looking in the mirror; she then cried out and leapt over the city walls to her death; her father followed her and died as well.
Afterwards, Medea killed the sons she had with Jason and set fire to the house. She refused to give the children's bodies to Jason, who was unable to move forward because of the fire that was burning.
See Also: Jason, Argonauts, Golden Fleece, Medea, Absyrtus, Glauce
Written by: The Editors of GreekMythology.com. GreekMythology.com editors write, review and revise subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge based on their working experience or advanced studies.
For MLA style citation use: GreekMythology.com, The Editors of Website. "Medea". GreekMythology.com Website, 07 Jul. 2021, https://www.greekmythology.com/Myths/Movies/Medea/medea.html. Accessed 30 November 2023.