Paolo Benvenuti returns with another slab of rigorous historical documentation in Gostanza da Libbiano, shot in black and white and based on the original trial records of the eponymous, 60-year-old Tuscan nun accused of witchcraft in 1594. —Variety
Paolo Benvenuti is one of the greatest contemporary Italian directors, yet his masterly opus has until now remained almost unknown to international and Italian audiences alike. Becoming active in the late 1960s, Benvenuti found his first source of inspiration in the popular culture of Tuscany, after which he choose history as his primary subject matter. Benvenuti sees Italy as a country that dismisses history. For Benvenuti, making films based on thorough historical research, questioning the cinematic presentation of history and inviting the audience to actively interpret the meaning of historical facts is a culturally and politically relevant stance, an act of resistance against a cultural climate that invites oblivion and revisionism.
Content aside, Benvenuti is a real master of rigueur and visual composition. Never following cinematic vogues, Benvenuti has been painstakingly pursuing his own brand of timeless cinema. Like no other Italian filmmaker in the past two decades, Benvenuti… read more