Release Date: March 19
Director/Writer: Marco Bellocchio
Starring: Giovanna Mezzogiorno, Filippo Timi
Cinematography: Daniele Ciprì
Studio/Run Time: Offside, 128 mins.
So I married a fascist dictator
In its first act, Vincere is as an over-edited biopic about the rise of fire-bellowing orator Benito Mussolini.
As the future dictator moves from broke rabblerouser to fascistic rhetorician, he marries Ida Dalser, who gives birth to their son. But as Mussolini’s ascent quickens, director Marco Bellocchio inverts all expectations and the film instead follows the downward trajectory of the scorned Dalser.
A little-known footnote of history, she was discredited and locked in an insane asylum by Italy’s fascist forces, her son mocked and left to die in an institution. Bellocchio began investigating the dysfunctional Italian family with his audacious 1965 debut Fists in the Pocket, but here he goes further, implicating cinema itself. In Vincere, we behold the medium shifting from entertainment to propaganda tool, the character of Mussolini replaced by a demigod image projected on the screen for the enraptured audience.