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103'  ·  o.v. Italian - Subt. French

"Carried by two of the most emblematic duos of Italian cinema (Age and Scarpelli wrote a perfectly wrought, superb, and typically biting screenplay and the tandem of Gassman and Tognazzi play the two title roles), In the Name of the Italian People (1971) is in my eyes one of the greatest Italian political films, far more so than those of Francesco Rosi, for example: not due to its subject– an honest judge versus a corrupt businessman – but because despite the disgust the filmmaker feels at the vulgarity of this society, observing it with obvious horror, there is no contempt in the representation of the characters who compromise themselves in it. On the contrary, these players in the tragedy of progress and modernity are saved by their own baseness: for humor is the only way for us to look disaster in the face – aware as we are that the only way to escape it would be to put an end to our own existence. Dino Risi (of whom Nadav Lapid is one of the great contemporary heirs) replies to this bitter observation in an elegant and pitiless manner that has lost nothing of its timeliness".


Lili Hinstin