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An operatic, sumptuously-appointed period comedy with a mournful undercurrent of tragedy, Love & Anarchy plumbs the depths of fascist Italy from the perspective of a simple farm boy sent to kill Mussolini. Giancarlo Giannini won the best actor prize at the Cannes Film Festival for his achingly sensitive portrayal of Tunin, a naïve country bumpkin who hits the big city with a half-baked plan to assassinate Mussolini and ends up becoming an accidental anarchist.
“Executed with the high-pitched passion of a Neapolitan gothic romance and with a fluid, whirling, dazzling energy … breath-taking.” — Paul D. Zimmerman, Newsweek
Holed up in Rome’s ritziest brothel, where his co-conspirator is Salome (Mariangela Melato), the house’s icy, platinum blonde number-one attraction, he falls for her sweet young fellow prostitute Tripolina (Lina Polito), whose protective love may prove his downfall. Amid an eye-popping wealth of period detail and with an appreciation for the Roman cityscape, Wertmüller lets loose with a barrage of giddy hijinks, alluring nudity, and mad revelry, ironically underscoring the magnitude of the political folly of fascism. (Dir. by Lina Wertmüller, 1973, Italy, In Italian with English subtitles, 129 mins., Not Rated)