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.
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.
Balancing between the past and the present, the darkness and the light, within the musky stone walls of Santa Chiara's 17th-century convent prison in Bobbio, a sinful Sister and a cultivated night owl Count are somehow linked together.
Pier Giorgio Bellocchio,
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 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 is a young actor who is a spellbinding livewire on stage. A theatre director is moved by his talent and wants to do a play about him, to turn him into a great role to be interpreted... See full summary »
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.
My brother was in attendance for this one, and we were pretty much in unison in opinion. The first act of Vincere ("Win!") is quite extraordinary. In fact we both had the spine chills for the credits which featured a display of enormous mounted ship cannons.
It's a film about the relationship between Benito Mussolini and Ida Dalser. The first act, where they are actually together, is extraordinary. Mussolini is a power hungry madman, incapable of a non-hyperbolic thought, he quotes Napoleon at will and ravishes Ida in the moonlight of their cavernous apartment. He's the ultimate political opportunist, and Ida falls in love with his pure thuggery, despite his obviously third-rate intellect. I then had a problem for the remainder of the film, because I was expected to sympathise with Ida, whom Mussolini pushes away, even though she is a brute-loving nincompoop.
Despite Giovanna Mezzogiorno's excellent acting as Ida Dalser, it's like Bellochio isn't sure where to take the story, as if life doesn't really fit into his narrative structure. I remembered reading Robert Graves' book Count Belisarius as a teen, which starts off as a stonking good read about the adventures of a general in the Byzantine Empire, but then becomes far to encumbered with an adherence to history, that almost makes the latter part of the experience like reading a textbook, a real chore.
As another reviewer has pointed out, the actor in the movie who plays Mussolini, Filippo Timi, is far more interesting and nuanced than the actual historical figure, and it's simply ridiculous when we see newsreel footage and have to see Mussolini the real man, followed by Timi in the next scene. I have to hand it to Italians that they certainly have a talent for electing verminous cretins to high office that has lasted to this very day. You see the newsreel footage and it's impossible not to titter.
The film in retrospect is simply a misadventure in my opinion.
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