"Indagine su un cittadino al di sopra di ogni sopetto" ("Investigation of a citizen above suspicion") is a surrealistic police-story directed by the Italian film-maker Elio Petri in 1970 .
A very original screenplay tells us the story of a respected police inspector who commits a crime and deliberately leaves clues just to find out how big is his reputation of "a citizen above suspicion" . The theme is developed from this single event and becomes an intelligent and provocative reflection about the concepts of authority and institution . While some could wrongly see this movie as a left-wing political one because of the way it depicts police authorities' excessive power , It is really only a fair illustration denouncing the impotence of institutions of making an impartial investigation about their own mistakes . The main theme of the movie rises up a brilliant and paradoxical question : how can the organs which administrate the "Law" condemn themselves without risking their own collapse and negation ? To this question the movie answers with the pessimistic vision that a real justice is an utopia because of human-beings' weaknesses and self-preservative nature . This brilliant reflection is developed in an highly entertaining and smoothly constructed satirical police-story : in fact the movie has an overwhelming "funny" tone especially thanks to Gian Maria Volonte' superb acting in the main role of the "fascistoid" police inspector . The ending will surprise you with the way it reveals the surrealistic nature of the whole topic .
Even if this movie was highly awarded and acclaimed at its time , (1 Oscar for Best foreign film , 1 Nomination for Best original screenplay , won Grand Prize of the Jury and Golden Palm nomination at Cannes Films Festival , 1 Golden globe nomination ) at the present days it has been criminally forgotten . I can only add that I personally consider it one of the best Italian films ever made and one of the most provocative police-stories in the last 40 years . Unfortunately it suffers of a very poor international distribution so , unless you live in Italy , it won't be easy for you to find this movie . But it doesn't matter how hard it will be , it will be worth it .
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