An epic tragicomedy from director Lina Wertmüller (Seven Beauties), Love and Anarchy plumbs the depths of fascist Italy from the perspective of a simple farm boy who’s sent to kill Mussolini, but finds comrades in a group of prostitutes.
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The first film I've seen by Lina Wertmuller and it is quite the pièce de résistance. An amazing film with phenomenal performances, evoking all kinds of emotions. Its anti-fascist message will prevail through the echo of time. I can't wait to see more films by her, she is clearly a master filmmaker and I must hunt down her work. One of the best films of the 70s. I have nothing but the utmost praise.
If a Ken Loach film and a Fellini film had some passionate, editing-room affair, this might be their fiery, vivacious, celluloid love child. Notable are the women - all powerful, each in their own way - and Wertmüller's radical sympathies, including a sex/sex-work positivity that no doubt challenged many of her contemporaries (feminist and otherwise!) Human & compelling (even if the brashness left me exhausted). 3.5
Wertmuller's story of a peasant aiming to assassinate Mussolini in the 30's aided by a whore in Rome only to be overcome by love is well enacted by its actors. Giancarlo Giannini was awarded at Cannes that year for his portrayal and the work of Mariangela Melato is stellar. Memorably scored by Nino Rota and shot by Giuseppe Rotunno.
This might be my favorite Wertmuller film due to the humanity in the characterizations especially of Giannini that is precariously situtated amidst the political notions of chaotic disorder being plotted in a bordello against the Fascist regime.
"if you commence, make sure work--do not trifle, for they will not trifle with you--they want us for their slaves, and think nothing of murdering us in order to subject us to that wretched condition--therefore, if there is an attempt made by us, kill or be killed." --
David Walker's Appeal