With this powerful drama, acclaimed veteran Italian filmmaker Marco Bellocchio, whose ‘The Traitor’ was one of the highlights of Cannes 2019, focused on the early history of Benito Mussolini’s life.
Before he became the de facto leader of a fascist organisation and headed up the Italian government, Mussolini was married to Ida Dalser, who gave birth to his son Benito Albino. Back then, he was the editor of the ardent socialist publication Avanti! Which intended to guide the masses towards an anti-clerical, anti-monarchical, socially emancipated future. At this point, Ida believed in him and his ideas, selling everything she owned in order for him to finance Il Popolo d’Italia, the newspaper that formed the nucleus of the Italian Fascist Party.
But as Mussolini’s fortunes changed, so did his personal circumstances and Bellocchio’s film documents what happed to Ida and her son.
Nominated for the Palme d’Or, Marco Belloccio’s powerful melodrama features superb central performance by Filippo Timi as Il Duce and Giovanna Mezzogiorno as the ill-fated Ida.
★★★★ Nigel Andrews, Financial Times
★★★★ Ian Freer, Empire
★★★★ “An operatic slice of historical muckraking” - David Jenkins, Time Out
★★★★ “A tragic, timeless tale about a spirited woman’s stubborn devotion to a self-serving man” - Anna Smith, Metro