Il Divo (La Spettacolare Vita di Guilio Andreotti)
Director: Paolo Sorrentino
Cast: Toni Servillo, Anna Bonaiuto, Giulio Bosetti
Country of Origin: Italy/France 2008
Jury Prize Cannes International Film Festival 2008
Language: Italian with English subtitles 110 mins.
'An remarkable blood soaked tale of 'Il Divo', the ultimate Machiavellian that strode the stage of corruption and shame in Italian politics.'
Giulio Andreotti, the Machiavellian insider of Italian politics, a cunning political survivor reigned supreme from the early 60s to the early 90s and was Prime Minister seven times. A complex and deeply religious figure, Andreotti was accused of cronyism and corruption,ordering the murder of a journalist and being a member of the Mafia who exchanged a kiss of respect with Salvatore "Toto" Riina, the "boss of bosses". The supreme 'Mr Teflon,' he emerged from prosecutions unscathed.
Toni Servillo is the Machiavellian Andreotti - horned rimmed glasses, hands clasped together, chin pushed back, a bull neck and hunched shoulders, ghost-like, remote, withdrawn, the wheeler-dealer of Italian politics pivotal to a corrupt and blood soaked stage that left Italy with the stench of corruption and Silvio Berlusconi.
Fear, violence and gain dominate - politicians, bankers, masons, are dispatched in a bloody manner - "perpetrate evil to guarantee good." The only apparent sense of guilt came from the Red Brigade's murder of former prime minister, Aldo Moro in 1978 when Andreottti refused to negotiate in line with the 'tension strategy' which was designed to initiate chaos to justify clampdowns and offer a platform of legitimacy to the Christian Democrats.
It's a remarkable piece of film with a masterful and hypnotic performance from Toni Servillo. Luca Bigazzi's fine camera work captures portrait-like this complex figure immersed in an arena of corruption and violence against the opulant backdrop and architectural beauty of Rome's governmental offices. A knowledge of Italian politics at that time helps but even without it's a thrilling movie.
"I don't believe in chance, I believe in the will of God" - Giulio Andreotti.
"Andreotti had style and class; Berlusconi does not" - Paolo Sorrentino.
Released by ARTIFICIAL EYE