Two haunting Italian tales from different centuries in the convent prison of Bobbio, caught somewhere between past and present: a young 17th century priest falls under the spell of a ... See full summary »
Pier Giorgio Bellocchio,
A pair of working class lovers - a secretary and an accountant, scheme to marry into the rich landed gentry. Their targets are a professor, Vittorio Gordini Malvezzi ,(Glauco Mauri), who is... See full summary »
The Prince of Homburg, disobeys orders and leads a cavalry charge in battle against the Swedes, which leads to victory. He is court martialled however for disobeying orders and sentenced to... See full summary »
Andrea Di Stefano,
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.
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.
Carlo's life is thrown into a tailspin when his longtime girlfriend Giulia announces she's pregnant. As Carlo faces up to his anxieties about adulthood, his buddies Paolo, Adriano and ... See full summary »
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,
The story of Ida Dalser, who fell in love with the future Italian Fascist leader, Benito Mussolini, supported him while he was unemployed in the early 1910s, and married him, presumably around 1914. She bore Mussolini a son, Benito Albino, before the outbreak of World War I. The two lost touch during the war years and, upon discovering him again in a hospital during the war, she also discovered Rachele Guidi, who had married Mussolini in 1915, and a daughter born in 1910 when Guidi and Mussolini were living together. Historically, following his political ascendancy, Mussolini suppressed the information about his first marriage and he (through the Fascist party) persecuted both his first wife and oldest son and committed them forcibly to asylums.
When beauty-salon owner Ida Dalser (Giovanna Mezzorgiorno) has a chance encounter with the young Benito Mussolini (Filippo Timi), she becomes enamoured by him. They cross paths a number of times - one at a political rally where Mussolini challenges God to strike him down if he truly exists; the other she sees him pass her store leading a mob of political activists; and again as he is escaping the authorities, when they share their first kiss. Attracted to his enormous power and political ideals, she sells everything she owns in order to fund his new political magazine. They get married, and he gives her a son. But when he returns from World War I, he marries another women, and his political status vastly grows. Mussolini denies knowing her and puts her under surveillance. When Ida refuses to deny their marriage, she is committed to a mental hospital and all documentation of their marriage is destroyed.
Only unearthed in 2005 by Italian journalist Marco Zeni, this is a fascinating story that was, for years, suppressed by the fascist regime. Both the story and the film is a terrifying portrayal of a country under a ruthless dictator in a turbulent time in Europe. It is not actually known if the story is even true, as all evidence was destroyed by Mussolini's agents. But as well as Ida's stubborn refusal to deny it, their grown son, Benito Albino Mussolini, always spoke out how he was the 'bastard' son of the dictator, and was also placed in a mental asylum. He spoke out until his tragic death at the age of 26. He is portrayed in the film (also played by Timi) at first imitating Mussolini at the insistence of his friends, and then later manically quoting lines from his speeches as he wanders open-robed around the hospital.
The film is a great story that is magnificently acted, beautifully filmed, and unconventionally directed by Marco Bellocchio. Words fly out of the screen shouting 'war!', strange women gaze into the camera whose identity we don't find out until much later in the film, and the film sometimes jumps forward years while only hinting at the events that have taken place in between. It's a brave and worthwhile decision, and although it does slide into a more conventional genre picture near to the end, it remains frequently gripping and anger-inducing. Mezzogiorno in the lead role is outstanding, and in the scene where she breaks apart as she enters her second asylum, she is both heart-breaking and strangely inspiring. Timi is a force of nature as Mussolini, nailing his mannerisms and ruling over his people with a steely disposition.
Vincere was tipped for the Palme d'Or at Cannes, but was overshadowed by the admittedly better films The White Ribbon and A Prophet. But this is a fantastic film in its own right - insightful, powerful, and disturbing, and Bellocchio, a veteran at 71, is definitely a director to keep an eye on.
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