Vincere

Vincere: According to Marco Bellocchio's Vincere, Mussolini was nearly as much of a bully in the bedroom as he was in office. Il Duce would eventually get busy with the Pope, but in the mid-1910s, he screwed—and screwed over—one Ida Dalser, who becomes this epic melodrama's nobly suffering Jeanne d'Arc. Bearing Mussolini a son, Dalser was banished to an insane asylum for the rest of her days. Hell hath no fury, indeed: Complete with thunder and lightning, sex and street riots, booming music and fascist slogans splayed across the screen, Bellocchio's immodestly mounted production is an operatic critique of the violent force with which a woman was written out of His Story. In the hands of the fiercely committed Giovanna Mezzogiorno, Dalser goes from being the recipient of Il Duce's thrusts to a towering figure of sorts, tough as nails even when incarcerated. Rob Nelson

 
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