|Formats:||15 DVD, Blu-ray|
|Starring:||Giovanna Mezzogiorno, Filippo Timi, Corrado Invernizzi, Fausto Russo Alesi, Michela Cescon, Pier Giorgio Bellocchio, Paolo Pierobon, Bruno Cariello, Francesca Picozza, Simona Nobili|
|Genres:||Drama, World Cinema|
|Studio:||FUSION MEDIA SALES|
|Run time:||2 hours 8 minutes|
|Rental release:||13 Sep 2010|
|Main languages:||Italian, German|
Most helpful review
A woman scornedBy Warden (20 reviews) from York, England , 23 Sep 2010
[Highly rated reviewer]
[Highly rated reviewer]A familiarity with Italian history in the first part of the 20th century would help with this film but it isn't essential. A key point is that this isn't about Clara Petacci who was shot with Mussolini in 1945, but Ida Dalser who was one of at least three women with whom he was 'romantically entangled' in the years immediately before and during the 1st World War. The exact legal status of that relationship is rightly left unresolved in the film and that becomes the central theme of the plot. Ida's ever more frantic attempts to have Mussolini's acknowledged marriage to Rachele declared invalid and Rachel's children declared illegitimate provoke the sort of response that might be expected when directed at the leader of a Fascist state.
It is a sad story and can appropriately be billed as 'searing emotional drama'. But it holds other interests. For much of the film Mussolini features only as a distant image in newsreels and Ida's battle is with the apparatus of the state and the mental health services. Shocking and brutal indeed, but it does raise the important question of just how we should respond when somebody persistently presses a claim which they cannot or will not substantiate. If that seems too easy, try reversing the position - a man claiming that a prominent woman politician is bigamously married!
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A must seeBy CMP (5 reviews) , 29 Jun 2013I was really gripped by this film. The experimental way it was filmed heightened the story and served, I feel, to insert Ida Dalser (and women like her) in to history. The unresolved nature of her relationship with Mussolini and her commitment to insisting on her rights as she saw them, works beyond the frameworks portrayed here. The acting and cinematography was excellent. Totally absorbing and moving.
A Cinematic TriumphBy Cato (774 reviews) from Lydbury North , 27 Jun 2013An extremely interesting film, ,experimentally produced with interspersed clippage from the old Italian times in which the film's action was set. The acting is superb, especially from the poor 'second wife' who was forgotten by Mussolini in his rise for power. Everything seemed superbly researched and the score, by Morricone is immensely powerful. A cinematic triumph.
A story that needed tellingBy Atheisttroll (3 reviews) , 28 Dec 2012This was a good subject for a film. However, it turned out pretty disappointing. Interweaving the story with old newsreel of the time doesnt work because showing the real Mussolini in action and then cutting back to the actor playing him who only bears a very passing ressemblance is a let-down. It was a confusing time historically and this film doesnt go far to explain it any the better, including il Duce's marital status! Also, throughout the entire film, even before she was sidelined, the heroine hardly appears in any scene or speaks to anyone except Mussolini which makes for a pretty barren time!
Overlong, and familiar targets attackedBy a customer , 24 Nov 2012
THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS Show review anywayHideThis film is overlong and since Mussolini's mistress believed in him I have only limited sympathy for her. Bellochio once again flogs the Catholic Church, and whilst this is an interesting story the film spends the last hour at least treading the same ground over and over. The interview with the main actor is very worth watching.
A woman spurnedBy RJNeb2 (1017 reviews) from London , 16 Sep 2012Little known fact: Benito Mussolini already had a wife and son when he married the woman who stood beside him as his spouse throughout his dictator reign. Wife #1Ida Dalser was incarcerated in a mental hospital and her existence expunged from all official records. This is strong meaty stuff with Giovanna Mezzogiorno suffering nobly through untold indignities in an effective performance. To tell the truth, shes slightly overshadowed by Filippo Timis feral portrayal of the young Mussolini, playing him with an intensity thats completely intimidating. Timi leaves the stage halfway through to make way for newsreel footage of Il Duce and his absence is sorely felt it was a bit of a misstep for the actor to return to rather unconvincingly play his grown son. Nevertheless, this is a compelling story, very well told.