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ROBERTO SUCCO

France / Switzerland, 2000 (MIFF 2002, International Panorama)

Director: Cédric Kahn

Roberto Succo is a name many French would rather forget. A disaffected but charismatic lone wolf killer who prowled the south of France in the early 80s, Succo's fame turned life into art - then art into politics - when French police protested at the film's inclusion in Cannes last year.

At 19 he killed his parents, later escaping from psychiatric custody and slipping into hiding in France. From there he left a trail of murders, rapes, kidnaps and burglaries. A month-long man-hunt reached into Switzerland - Succo receiving the 'accolade' public enemy #1 - and police finally nabbed him.

In putting the life of this square peg criminal to film, writer-director Cédric Kahn avoided either mythologising or demonising Succo. Nor is this a regular clue hunt, cat-and-mouse chase, forensic shocker. Remarkably detailed, impeccably researched, this true-crime drama places man's dark - and potentially misunderstood - soul under a focused microscope.

"(in the title role) Stefano Cassetti is a young Italian non-professional who burns up the screen in every scene he's in." - Screen International

Cédric Kahn (born in 1966) has written and directed several films in the past ten years, including Overseas (1990), Normal People Are Nothing Exceptional (1993) and Tédio, O (1999). Roberto Succo was nominated for a Golden Palm at Cannes 2001.

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