A mosaic of several intertwined stories questioning the meaning of life, love and hope, set during the last six days in the life of Eluana Englaro, a young woman who spent 17 years in a vegetative state.
Balancing between the past and the present, the darkness and the light, within the musky stone walls of Santa Chiara's 17th-century convent prison in Bobbio, a sinful Sister and a cultivated night owl Count are somehow linked together.
Pier Giorgio Bellocchio,
Massimo's idyllic childhood is shattered by the death of his mother. Years later, he is forced to relive his traumatic past and compassionate doctor Elisa could help him open up and confront his childhood wounds.
The film, a nostalgic fantasy documentary, depicts in six episodes a family story in Bobbio between 1999 and 2008. We discover the 5 years-old Elena being brought up by her aunts (Marco ... See full summary »
Pier Giorgio Bellocchio,
Don Giulio, giovane prete romano, ritorna a casa dopo essere stato parroco in un'isola del Mar Tirreno ed è destinato ad una chiesa di periferia. A Roma egli ritrova i genitori, la sorella ... See full summary »
Ferruccio De Ceresa,
A teacher discovers his calling. Marco relocates to Palermo from Milan and takes a job teaching in a reform school while he waits for a high school position. He tries to understand and ... See full summary »
Ernesto is a successful artist who has his life turned upside down by his family's wishes for the canonization of his murdered mother. His extreme dislike for her ignorant ways brings about a greater connection with his insane brother who killed her, while his other brothers favor her beatification. There is a struggle of wills and will power. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
Marco Bellocchio is a voice in the Italian cinema that has been present for about four decades now; he is still going strong. Like a good wine, Mr. Bellocchio gets better with the passage of time. His latest film to get a commercial run is "Ora di religione". This is a complex movie worth taking a look at it, as it presents us a different input on how the director, who also wrote the screen play, views religion, and the Catholic Church in general.
Italy is a supposedly Catholic country. Like the rest of Europe, Italy is going through a change in the way the Catholic Church exerts its influences in everything. More and more, people are asking about what they were taught as children and the realities of modern life where science explains mysteries that were not questioned before.
If you haven't seen the film, perhaps you should stop reading here.
Mr. Bellocchio decides to take a look at the issue of sainthood and its ramifications, as it affects a bourgeois family in turmoil. The Picciafuoccos come from a family of five sons. Egido, has killed his mother, who is being considered for canonization because someone claims he has been cured of a horrible fatal disease by praying to the matriarch of the family.
At the center of the story we find Ernesto, the artist son. He becomes concerned when Irene, his estranged wife, tells him about a change in their young son, Leonardo. This boy has become obsessed with the dogma being taught to him in his school. In his young mind, Leonardo can't differentiate between reality and what he has learned. Thus, he feels about talking to God, because he's everywhere.
Ernesto learns about the possibility of his mother being declared a saint by a cardinal who wants to interview the family and clarify an aspect of her death. The machinery has been set in motion. Ernesto realizes with horror how the family is affected by the news. Ernesto gets to realize what each brother, as well as his aunts, stand to benefit when his late mother be declared officially a saint. The wheels of commercialism have been set in motion and they will not stop the personal ambitions from each one in the family.
In Sergio Castellitto, the director has found the perfect actor to play Ernesto. Mr. Castellitto has demonstrated he is one of the best actors of the moment, as well as an excellent director. He gives an amazing performance as Ernesto, the son that questions his family's motives as well as what he sees in that society.
The ensemble cast is wonderful. The film is dark. It kept reminding this viewer of some of the best films of the Italian classic cinema without imitating any style at all. Mr. Bellocchio is an original who has his own voice. He questions a lot of things that most of us have taken for granted, but are unresolved in the prodigious mind of Marco Bellocchio.
6 of 10 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?