The tale of Mussolini's woman spurned

Like Changeling shifted to fascist Italy, Marco Bellocchio’s truth-based parable for power’s allure pairs political allegory with wronged-woman melodrama.

The woman is Ida Dalser (Giovanna Mezzogiorno), who marries Mussolini (Filippo Timi) and has his son then finds herself spurned as Il Duce’s career rockets.

The drawn-out last act saps gusto but, otherwise, direction, cast and soundtrack hit an operatic pitch that balances emotional punch with detached historical reflection.

Timi features in a short but suitably intense interview extra.

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