5.5/10
209
2 user 1 critic

The Witches' Sabbath (1988)

La visione del sabba (original title)
The freshly graduated psychiatrist David shall deliver an opinion about young Maddalena, who's on trial for murdering a hunter. She claims she's a witch and acted on behalf of the devil. ... See full summary »

Director:

Marco Bellocchio

Writers:

Marco Bellocchio (story), Marco Bellocchio (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Béatrice Dalle ... Maddalena / Witch
Daniel Ezralow ... Davide / psychiatrist
Corinne Touzet Corinne Touzet ... Cristina / Davide's wife
Jacques Weber ... Prof. Cadò
Renata Leoni Renata Leoni
Roberta Lena Roberta Lena
Daniele Nuccetelli Daniele Nuccetelli
Sasa Vulicevic Sasa Vulicevic
Raffaella Rossellini Raffaella Rossellini
Stefano Abbati Stefano Abbati
Omero Antonutti ... Medico condotto / Conducted doctor
Eleonora Di Mario Eleonora Di Mario ... Strega #1
Francesca Trasci Francesca Trasci ... Strega #2
Laura Visconti Laura Visconti ... Strega #3
Paolo De Vita Paolo De Vita ... Monatto / gravedigger
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Storyline

The freshly graduated psychiatrist David shall deliver an opinion about young Maddalena, who's on trial for murdering a hunter. She claims she's a witch and acted on behalf of the devil. The public health officer tells David, he's got reason to believe her, that she'd been searching for a man who suits her needs for 300 years. Already after his first meeting with Maddalena, David begins to change: He ignores his beautiful young wife Cristina and loses himself in daydreams and hallucinations in which he participates in Inquisition questioning and erotic witches' circles. Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Italy | France

Language:

Italian

Release Date:

26 February 1988 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Em Nome do Diabo See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

 
Bellocchio's sorcery couldn't entirely hide a weak plot .
5 July 2005 | by frippertronic81See all my reviews

"La visione del Sabba" is a surrealistic tale about witchery , women , sexual desire and satisfaction . It tells the story of a young beautiful woman who has been accused of attempted murder . She is kept in a mental hospital because she claims to be a witch from the 17th century who has been waiting several centuries for the man worthy of taking away her virginity . The case is given to a young psychiatrist who soon becomes fascinated with her world of pagan pleasures and dreams . After the sight of the "Sabbath" during one of these visions , he completely falls under her witchcraft and voluntarily becomes the object of her satisfaction .

What is an interesting but vague and limited subject turns into a watchable film only thanks to Bellocchio's visual talent . The use of the metaphor of witchery to describe the sexual influence ( and power ) that women are able to exert on men it is a provocative reflection about the conventional roles in our society . But as a subject it's somehow like a candle that burns too fast and long before the end of the film it is extinguished . My impression is that the screenplay was not rich enough of ideas and twists and that this fact forced the director to over-extend many sequences , losing himself too often in a self-pleasing and sterile aesthetic ecstasy . Too often in this "Sabbath"-film we feel like the only ones who are truly having fun are the actors and the director .

Overall , it is a good provocative reflection about the power of women and how their desires and needs can make the world change . It is also a nice tale about witchery and an hymn to the pleasures of life . But it becomes too rapidly short of breath , and even through some well-directed scenes , in the second half of the story we feel like we're watching the same concept illustrated over and over again . Bellocchio showed us that he can do much better than this .


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