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Benicio Del Toro
Artemisia Gentileschi (1593-1653) was one of the first well-known female painters. The movie tells the story of her youth, when she was guided and protected by her father, the painter Orazio Gentileschi. Her professional curiosity about the male anatomy, forbidden for her eyes, led her to the knowledge of sexual pleasure. But she was also well known because in 1612 she had to appear in a courtroom because her teacher, Agostino Tassi, was suspected of raping her. She tried to protect him, but was put in the thumb screws... Written by
The movie is a biography of the painter Artemisia Gentileschi, but many major details of her life were changed, leading to widespread criticism. In the movie, the relationship between Artemisia and Agostino is portrayed as a beautiful love affair, and the reason Artemisia is is tortured is because she refuses to testify that he raped her. In reality, Agostino really did rape Artemisia (and other women), and the reason she was tortured was because she did testify in court that he had raped her. See more »
Near the end of the movie, when Artemisia breaks down her outdoor studio, her hands have healed, so the bandages are gone. But then, when she goes to Tassi's house and in all scenes thereafter, the bandages are still there and bleeding. See more »
I'm normally a sucker for romantic films which are well-filmed and well-acted out. This is a romantic (period) film set in 17th-century Italy, but filmed in French with English subtitles. The fact that it is a period film means it will inevitably be slower-paced than films set in the modern day era, so it Will bore some. If you can overlook that fact, it is actually a really good film. The scenery, the costumes, and the cinematography are beautiful, and the main actors and actress are very compelling in their portrayals, projecting the intensity of the emotions that are running through the plot. The story is like a sad love story with an unhappy ending. Its easy to believe that this is an accurate portrayal of the real-life characters. In spite of the fact that I was really moved by the main characters and the storyline, I decided to check out the validity of the story and found out that the main theme of the movie's story - that of an sad unfinished love story
was completely fabricated.
In real life, Artemisia was raped by Tassi initially, rather than submitting to his advances willingly and passionately as the movie had portrayed. She continued to have sexual relations with him only because he had repeatedly promised to marry her. When they were in court, he had *not* admitted guilt of rape out of pity for Artemisia's torture (unlike what the movie portrays). In reality, he had tried to portray Artemisia as a loose, promiscuous woman with insatiable sexual urges. In the movie, his sister testified in court that Tassi had a wife and had sexual relations with his sister-in-law, and Tassi's character was all the while made to appear as if his sister had been slandering him regarding his alleged affair with his sister-in-law (although he admits to having had a wife back in Florence). Needless to say, in reality it wasn't really like that at all. In fact, far from it. Tassi was really responsible in the planned murder of his wife, whom he had begotten from rape. And to add to that, Tassi really had sexual relations with his sister-in-law, impregnating her in the process, but all this wasn't really mutual as well - again, he had raped his sister-in-law before.
So now we have a clear picture of the real Tassi as a multiple sex offender, what do we make of the film Artemisia's portrayal of him as a lover? We take it as an attempt to make this movie into a romantic film... that this film was never made to be historically accurate... Apart from these points just mentioned, there were other historical inaccuracies like in its interpretation of Artemisia's art (in real-life, she was never really influenced by Tassi's painting style, and she was actually considered a much better painter than Tassi ever was.) One thing remains true and its the fact that Artemisia Gentileschi has been credited as the first woman painter in history, and although her mastery of the art rivalled many of her male peers, she had always experienced difficulty in getting enough credit for her work because of her gender as a woman, in 17th century Italy.
Enjoy this film for its own sake, for it is a pretty good romantic drama, but take its historical references with a grain of salt.
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