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Jon Lee Anderson,
I agree with the reviews saying that nothing new (at least not to people living in Italy) is revealed in this film but that doesn't detract from it being a worthy documentary. On the contrary, having lived for 18 years in Italy, 5 of which were under Berlusconi's rule in government, I know full well how easily it is for people to complain behind closed doors about the issues portrayed in the film but then do precious little to change them.
Long before Berlusconi entered politics, he was already shaping the nation's opinions through his television and printed press empire. The film tracks back to 1980s shows like 'Drive In' which epitomised the sexualisation of entertainment by presenting an endless carousel of scantily clad women for absolutely no reason other than to keep the attention of its viewers. This is an ongoing scenario which only recently has been addressed both in parliament and on the streets by the women of Italy who have had enough.
As for Corona, here is the end product of such a system where greed and vanity are the prerequisite qualities for success. The fact that he isn't even a photographer just goes to show how talent is no guarantee nor is it a necessity for a rapid rise to riches for any individual whose mind is set on it.
If anything the portrayal of the 26 year old karate enthusiast is the saddest story of them all because he is clearly too naiive and too nice to make it in such a mercenary business as is the fame game in Italy.
'At night on the streets, I don't see people, I see business' Corona's words. Not a shred of Robin Hood in there whatsoever, if anything Corona is exactly the kind of person Robin Hood would have in his sights as prime target for his fabled exploits of altruism.
I also cringe when people ask 'How did it come to this?' because it's obvious, the polling stations were open, were they not? the option to vote for someone other than Berlusconi was there, was it not? Let's not turn this into a political debate, that's not what the film's premise is, regardless of your political views, this film should be watched and praised for its open exposure of a well known 'racket' where fame is king, whoever it is that gives it to you.
You only need look at political developments currently happening in Italy to see how little significance being right wing or left wing has.
The scene which struck me the most was Berlusconi being booed and jeered at the European Parliament where, true to form, he smiled broadly and pronounced everyone to be jealous of Italy, or rather, jealous of him and his success as an entrepreneur cum politician. That same arrogance is what put him in power in the first place and if again you ask how did he do it? You watched it happening on Italia 1, Canale 5 and Rete 4, every single day.
If you got bored of the Rai programmes, you had the option to switch to the commercial stations a choice which is tantamount to saying 'menomale che Silvio c'e'
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