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A populist right-wing tabloid newspaper tries to derail the official police investigation of a brutal murder of a young girl in order to help the fascist and right-wing candidates it supports in the upcoming elections.
Gian Maria Volontè,
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This sounds like a Eurocrime film and smells like a Eurocrime film, plus it has both Martin Balsam and Massimo Rinieri from Death Rage, yet this is a serious drama film that doesn't contain a sniff of the mafia. It's a proper drama about loyalty in the 'Years of Lead' in Seventies Italy.
A bunch of students belonging to a left-wing group have a bit of a protest that turns violent. During the ensuing riot, student Fabio witnesses a fellow protester being shot and killed, and in retaliation he lifts a dropped knuckle duster from the ground and kills a policeman with it. In the aftermath, Fabio gets away, but another protester is arrested and charged with the murder. The police don't seem so bothered about figuring out who shot the student mind you.
The job of bringing in both murderers falls to judge Marin Balsam, who immediately starts manipulating thing in order to convict the man they originally arrested. Worse still, the police are almost blasé in their approach to who shot the student, despite Balsam's attempts at getting to the bottom of that. Worst of all about this case is that Fabio, the guy who did kill the cop, is Balsam's son. Will he confess? Will Balsam find which cop shot the kid? And will the political parties involved even let the truth come out?
As I said, serious all the way. The only violence comes at the start and the rest involves Fabio wandering amongst his comrades and Balsam investigating the murders. It's worth watching for Balsam alone. He at least has convinced himself that he's an impartial citizen who upholds the law, but as the film wears on doubt begins to creep in. It's the actions of others that seemingly project Fabio throughout the film, and the drama between the two is what carries the film.
Even with a film like this, the director still manages to fit in some boobs, because no matter what - low brow, high brow, quick buck films, arthouse - it's all about getting those chicks to extract their décolletage for the delectation of the gentlemen here present.
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