Acclaimed Italian director Marco Bellocchio (Fists in the Pocket; Devil in the Flesh) delivers his boldest work yet, an audacious, visually stunning film that the Village Voice calls "a stylistic knockout" about fascist dictator Benito Mussolini and the woman he loved, scorned, denounced and then wrote out of history. Rising actor Filippo Timi is magnetic in a dual role as both the steamrolling dictator and the son he refuses to acknowledge. And Giovanna Mezzogiorno (Love In The Time Of Cholera) delivers a career-making, award-winning performance as Ida Dalser, the lover who wouldn't go away. Bellocchio is a master of eroticism and their scenes of abandon are so powerful and reckless (The Hollywood Reporter called them "steamy"), it's easy to understand why Dalser could never give him up. His rise to power and her descent into an insane asylum are tragic counterpoints in a doomed romance. Dalser may have been written off at the time, but Bellocchio and Mezzogiorno allow her a final, unexpected triumph in this cinematic masterwork.
Corrado Invernizzi,Fausto Russo Alesi,Pier Giorgio Bellocchio,Giovanna Mezzogiorno,Michela Cescon,Filippo Timi
There is a secret in the life of Mussolini: a wife and a son, Benito Albino, who was born, acknowledged and then denied. The secret bears a name: Ida Dalser. It is a dark page in history, one ignored in the official biography of the Duce.
When Ida meets Mussolini in Milan, he is the editor of Avanti! and an ardent Socialist who intends to guide the masses towards an anti-clerical, anti-monarchical, socially emancipated future. Ida already had a fleeting encounter with him in Trento and remained thunderstruck. Ida truly believes in him and his ideas. In order to finance Il Popolo d'Italia, a newspaper he has founded and the nucleus of the forthcoming Fascist Party, Ida sells everything she has.
When the First World War erupts, Benito Mussolini enrolls in the Army and disappears. When Ida finds him again in a military hospital, he is tended to by Rachele whom he has just married. Ida lashes out at her rival furiously, demanding her rights as Mussolini's true wife and the mother of his first-born son. She is led away by force.
For more than eleven years, she is locked away in an insane asylum (and her son in an institute) where she is put under physical restraint and tortured, never to see her son again. But Ida will not give up without a fight.