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Italy, 1988 (MIFF 1990, Spotlight Bertolucci)

Director: Giuseppe Bertolucci

Dario, a psychologist working in the public health system, lives an uneventful day-to-day routine comprising his work, his fiancee, his future inlaws.

One day he meets Mario, his one-time high-school mate. They celebrate their meeting in a bar, but just as they are having a drink Mario suddenly feels ill and falls in a heap, dead from a heart-attack. The newly rediscovered acquaintance draws his last breath in Dario's arms.

Dario now inherits a disturbing situation, namely Mario's widow, Anne, once Dario's own sweet-heart, and Mario's lover, Esther, a young and ingenuous girl. From this point on, Dario's life changes radically. He is drawn into a whirlwind of feelings and all his various relationships go through a terrible crisis.

Through this stormy chain of events and personalities, Dario comes to confront and question the purpose of his own profession, the meaning of his own authoritative science. Bertolucci's continuing preoccupation with feminine sensibilities is here enhanced by a strong, vibrant, intriguing psychodrama, graced by impressive performances from the mostly female cast.

Giuseppe Bertolucci
Now fully recognised as a major directorial force in Italian and international cinema, Giuseppe Bertolucci, like his celebrated brother Bernardo, was born in Parma, just over forty years ago. The son of a poet, Attilio, Giuseppe practised this literary art form throughout his youth in a family atmosphere surrounded by books, art and prestigious friends.

In 1970 he was an assistant director on The Spider's Stratagem made by brother Bernardo. Later he co-scripted both 1900 (1977) and La Luna (1979). He began directing his own films in 1971 including a number of television productions. His feature films include Berlinguer, ti voglio bene (1977), Oggetti Smarriti (1981), Segreti, Segreti (1985, MFF '86), Tuttobenigni (1986), Strana la Vita (1988), I Cammelli (1988) and Amori in Corso (1989).

See also...


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In Love In Progress, Giuseppe Bertolucci has drawn a delightfully amusing portrait of the young. As in his previous films, Bertolucci's facility in creating credible and fascinating women characters ... More »


Generally acclaimed as the best — and most important — Italian film of the year. SECRETS, SECRETS confirms the talent of ... Giuseppe Bertolucci (younger brother of Bernardo and co-writer ... More »

Tired and unsure, a famous film director, about to start a new picture, goes to a spa near Rome, hoping that rest will restore his perspective. Joined by his co-workers who hound him with suggestions ... More »


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 »

Ghost Sonata

From the homonymous Ibsen drama this version features Winston Tong. With almost no dialogue, the structure of this tape concentrates mainly on emotions, movements and music. ... More »

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