Italy, France, Germany 2023
In Italian, subtitles in English
127 min
Suitable for audiences aged 12 and above
Director: Marco Bellocchio
Screenplay: Marco Bellocchio, Susanna Nicchiarelli, Edoardo Albinati
Cast: Enea Sala, Leonardo Maltese, Fausto Russo Alesi
Production: Beppe Helmet, Simone Gattoni/IBC Movie, Kavac Film, Rai Cinema
Print Source: The Match Factory

Italian top director Marco Bellocchio has found a completely new gear at the age of 80. A few years ago, he worked on one of his best films of all time, the impressive mafia depiction Il traditore (The Traitor). Immediately after came the award-winning TV series Esterno Notte (Exterior, Night) about the kidnapping of Aldo Moro, the prime minister of Italy in the 70s. Now the director brings to the big screen a true event from the middle of the 19th century that shook the religious and political history of Italy but also of Europe. Edgardo Mortara, the little boy of a Jewish family, was kidnapped by the Pope's officials. He was imprisoned in the papal palace and raised as a Catholic. Thanks to his persistent father, Edgardo's hard fate gradually spread to wider consciousness and eventually led to the weakening of the papacy and even the unification of Italy, which was made up of several small states. In a deeply gripping drama, the elegantly moving camera in dark houses and palaces builds a magnificently bygone world that makes the film look like a period painting. And no wonder, because Bellocchio has said that he was influenced by 19th-century Italian and French painting. Clear references can be seen. to the works of eg. Eugène Delacroix. Steven Spielberg was looking at producing/directing a version of this story around 2016. He even was looking at casting the young boy's role though open auditions from Jewish Schools in Europe and America.

Timo Kuismin