There is no doubt that the story told in “Vincere” (which means “To Conquer”) by Marco Bellocchio, packs a dramatic punch. The main trailer provides the outline. There is a secret in BenitoMussolini’s early life, a wife and a son, first recognized and then denied. It is a tragic story of seduction, betrayal and abandonment.
Ida Dasler, played with great conviction by Giovanna Mezzogiorno, falls passionately in love with the then Socialist militant Benito Mussolini (Filippo Timi). They marry in secret and have a child also named Benito. Mussolini will ultimately reject both her and the child to concentrate on his conquest of political power and Italy in his persona of Il Duce.
The four clips below are an attempt to move away from the more flamboyant, operatic feel of the earlier trailer in order to provide instead a more intimate window into the drama that is ferociously being played out between Mussolini and Ida.
The first clip, “Revolution,” may mark the beginning of Ida’s infatuation and then love for the young, fiery revolutionary Mussolini. It’s the only clip in which she is allowed to smile, awed by Mussolini’s bravura performance in the face of fierce opposition. Nevertheless, the clip emphasizes her status as an outsider, forbidden to attend the meeting, she can only try and sneak glimpses of the man she is falling in love with. This is a stark prefiguration of what is yet to come since her outsider status will soon be confirmed and reinforced in the clips succeeding this one.
In the next clip Mussolini is lying on a hospital bed. He has been injured during battle. Ida throws herself onto his bed begging him not to abandon her and his child. She is forcibly removed and looks on as Mussolini’s second wife tends to him.
In the third clip Ida is in an institution of sorts, again isolated and cut off.
And in the final clip, she manages to sneak in to see Benito only to be brutally removed again and forced to look through the window as Benito greets his legitimate wife and child.
These four clips succeed in securing an empathetic response from the viewer who can’t fail to identify with Ida’s passionate quest for recognition, justice and also perhaps love. Her quest for legitimacy, for both her and her son, from a man who will ultimately deny it is compelling.
Marco Bellocchio has been directing for a long time but I have to admit that the only movie I remember of his is “The Devil in the Flesh” which caused quite a stir at the Cannes Film festival in 1986 because of its unsimulated sex act on screen. In case that thought excites any potential readers of this review, be forewarned that the movie is essentially boring and its interest mostly lies in the fact that it was one of the first to break a taboo for a so-called mainstream, if restricted, movie.
“Vincere,” on the other hand, appears to want to hark back to those glory days of Italian cinema when making movies on a grand, lush, operatic historical canvas was much appreciated if not the norm. These movies were epic in scope and I’m thinking here of Visconti’s “The Leopard” and “Senso,” movies which were grand yet still operated with a social conscience. There was entertainment to be had, but subtle lessons could also be learned. Having seen only these four clips and the original trailer, I have the sense “Vincere” might fit rather neatly into that mold.
Another particularly interesting observation that could be made about “Vincere” concerns the subject of Benito Mussolini himself. Mussolini’s place in the pantheon of evildoers has always been overshadowed, at least for me, by his three far more monstrous “brothers,” the unholy triumvirate of Hitler, Stalin and Franco. This movie, one can safely assume, will shed a bit of light on a figure which historically has remained quite opaque. At the same time, the kind of man he is shown to be in “Vincere” will unsurprisingly reveal the man he will become, Benito Mussolini, leader of Italy’s Fascist party and dictator of Italy. This is an additional item of interest in an already packed, dramatic story, so I’m quite prepared to give this movie a look and maybe you should too.
Source: Trailer Addict
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