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CHINA IS NEAR

Italy, 1967 (MIFF 1968, Programme 8)

Director: Marco Bellocchio

Two brothers and their sister, living in a small provincial town, are at the centre of a complex plot through which Bellocchio criticizes petit-bourgeois morality and the current political situation.

Vittorio, the elder brother, seeks municipal power on the socialist ticket —led by his vanity however, not by conviction. His sister Elena rules the household with an iron hand and an open boudoir, and both are soon the sexual partners of their employees— one of whom is Vittorio's secretary. This involvement with the proletariat is also a comment on Beliocchio's views on the political collaboration between the working class and the bourgeoisie. In the meantime, the younger brother, Camillo, a Maoist, throws spanners into the political works.

The bitterly funny political and sexual situations developed by the director unerringly point up a connection between lack of ideology in politics and dishonesty in private life. From the adolescent hostility in his first film, Fists in the Pocket, to political disdain in this his second feature, Bellocchio confirms the promise he showed in his debut.

Special Jury Award, Venice Festival.

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