The story of two men on different sides of a prison riot -- the inmate leading the rebellion and the young guard trapped in the revolt, who poses as a prisoner in a desperate attempt to survive the ordeal.
I've heard several American viewers complain that this film is all style over substance. I couldn't disagree more.
I think that if a viewer is familiar with Italian Political History then this film comes off as absolutely breathtaking, and not just for its amazing filmic style. For one, the performances and interpretations of these real characters are spot on and for another the intelligence and courage to which the script approaches the ethical implications of Il Divo's actions, the breadth of moral exploration, how he defends himself to himself, to others and, often, directly to the viewer, is a welcomed shock and dose of complexity to the often polemic and overly-reductive discourse in Italian politics (not much different than here in the States in that regard). Lastly, for Italians, these events resonate incredibly and speak very much to the current power base in Italy. I truly feel that a lot of Americans are watching this film with cultural blinders on.
I won't lie, it is definitely designed for people that already have a strong grasp of the history. It doesn't weigh itself down with long explanations and exposition (except in text at the beginning and end of the film) so if you're coming to this to learn every sordid detail about its subject, or for a plot, even, then you might not find much reward in it. But as an exercise in unpacking a very complicated subject with real style, it's amazing!
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