And this is another, more recent film touching on Italian fascism. In this case, it is the quixotic fascist remnants in 1960s Italy. The main character in the film finds his way into the fascist movement, mainly as a way of reacting against his suffocating family; his brother, meanwhile, becomes a leftie firebrand, joining the Communists. Much hilarity ensues. This film is, naturally, very different from The Conformist, being much lighter and more formally realistic in tone. However, it all becomes a bit less comedic later on, when the leftist brother sliding from communism to the Red Brigades – will his good looks and appeal to the ladies get him out of this one?
Music does not play a particularly big role in this film, but there is one very striking set piece in which a well-known piece of music by Beethoven is performed by a socialist orchestra and choir, with the lyrics re-worked to be about the onward march of the proletariat. I reckon that alone would make it worth the price of admission, though the endless shots of the flatlands where most of the film is set are also quite striking. Could these have be the very marshes that Mussolini drained?
Dublin readers who missed this film when it was in the IFI may be interested to hear that it is now playing in the newly reopened Light House.