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Black Angel (2002)
"Senso '45" (original title)

5.2
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Ratings: 5.2/10 from 916 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 13 critic

Trapped in an unhappy marriage, the wife of a high ranking Fascist official starts a dangerous, self-destructive relationship with a duplicitous S.S. Officer.

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Title: Black Angel (2002)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Franco Branciaroli ...
Ugo Oggiano
Antonio Salines ...
Carlo
Simona Borioni ...
Elsa
Loredana Cannata ...
Ninetta
Erika Savastani ...
Emilietta
Sabrina Colle
Agostino Nani
Giulia De Gresy
Franco Barbero
Eleonora Mazzoni
Ciro Scalera
Maria Pia Colonnello
Hermann Weisskopf
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Storyline

March 1945 Asolo, Italy. Livia Mazzion, the attractive wife of a top ministry official, slips into the car of lawyer Ugo Oggiano, Livia's admirer and her husband's informer. Livia must reach Venice and her lover Helmut Schultz, a Wermacht lieutenant, as beautiful and accursed as a pagan god, with whom she is having a burning love affair. During the trip she relives the high points of her devastating sexual abandonment gone adrift, one that has shattered her life and her destiny, swallowing her up in the ruinous vortex of a sybaritic and bituminous Venice. The city, in the throes of the final months of the war, is rife with traffickers, officials, nabobs, military brass, sharks and adventurers of every kind. Yet a surprise awaits Livia upon her arrival in Venice, a surprise in which the heroes' own personal defeats interweave with those public, as historical and political events now seek to settle accounts. Written by Ørmås

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Soredemo hoshii [Japan]


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Release Date:

12 April 2002 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Senso '45  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Italian ratings board originally gave the film "no one under 14" rating. Tinto Brass later personally fought for a "no one under 18" rating because he thought that the younger audience would not understand the film's subject matter, but later he agreed to allow a lower rating. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Christmas Eve '45 (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Beautiful.... Dark.... Haunting.... Exquisite....
26 August 2005 | by (Denver, Colorado) – See all my reviews

After years of shooting wacky erotic comedies, Tinto Brass has finally made a "serious" film, seemingly ending his hiatus with the mainstream film genre, or so it seems. (Read my review of 2003's appalling "Fallo!" for more information.) Aside from a very explicit sequence at a cocaine orgy, "Senso '45" is Brass' most mainstream film to date. The camera-work and acting are all heavily rehearsed and stylized, there's no "free flowing" feel of Il Maestro's earlier films, but I wouldn't say it is a bad thing. The script is masterfully written to give a disorienting feel with numerous flashbacks and flash forwards. It is also worthy of note how the it is the present that is shot in black & white, while the sequences taking place in the past are in color. The actors, especially Anna Galiena, are all giving 200% of their talents and Brass' regular cast members (be it a major supporting role or a short cameo) don't disappoint either. I also must disagree with the previous reviewer. Gabriel Garko is cast perfectly as the conniving Nazi Officer and gave me shivers each time he opened his mouth.

Even though te story has been relocated to 1945, the film is more faithful to Boito's original novella than one might think and I also saw some shades of Tolstoy's "Anna Karenina." What I really loved about Brass' script is that it keeps its ambiguity until the end. Like Livia, we can't be sure whether Helmut really loves loves or her financial status until the very end and by then it is far too late to change anything and we understand Livia's final decision and even root for her.

How can anyone not like this film? The music, the direction, the acting, the script... Everything is perfect. We see betrayal after betrayal. The lies build up on one another throughout the film and in the end it all comes crashing down in an unforgettable finale. I found the story truly mesmerizing. A woman willfully abandons safety of her estate, travels through ruins and piles of corpses to visit the man she loves, the only true love of her life, to whom she has given everything she had, but in the end is slapped across the face with harsh reality. In Visconti's 1954 version, that scene was disturbing. Here, it is heart breaking.

Do yourself a huge favour and see this wonderful masterpiece. It will haunt you for days and the ending will make ponder your own values and beliefs for months to come.


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