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Italy, 1972 (MIFF 1973)

Director: Francesco Rosi

Enrico Mattei, an Italian oil tycoon, emerged after the Second World War, as one of the most powerful figures in his country. His influence, often an alienating one, reached into China, Russia, France, and the United States. His reputation grew to mythical dimensions as he became known at home and abroad as 'the most powerful Italian since Caesar". Both a champion of the people, and a representative of the interests of the State, he is revealed in Rosi's film as a charming tyrant.

Rosi is faithful to his material and offers no simple explanation of his character. We are introduced, in interviews with his real-life acquaintances, to various impres­sions of the man, each view reflecting the relationship of the speaker to Mattei. Throughout, he remains an enigma. His death in a plane crash in 1962, in the week before he was to be the subject of a 'Time' cover story, led to numerous rumours about political assassination, but no concrete evidence of this emerged from post-mortems.

See also...


Italy, 1963
Francesco Rosi first received critical attention for his La Sftda then I Magluui, and two years ago, for the outstanding study of the Sicilian bandit Sahatoie Ciuhano. His new film, Hands On The City… More »


Japan, 1981
The year is 1949, a mere four years after Japan's defeat in World War 2. The nation was under the boot of the American occupation, and the U.S. was determined to make Japan a stronghold against the t… More »


Italy, 1976
Francesco Rosi takes up a theme already mined by Elio Petri: political intrigue among officials who plot assassinations and ruthlessly suppress dissent in Italy. An inspector is given the job of inve… More »

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