Like most of his contemporaries making their first films in Italy during the 1960s, director Marco Bellocchio has been telling stories rich in social satire deeply tied to the politics of his times. But what separates Bellocchio from filmmakers like Marco Ferreri or Ettore Scola is his satires take a more dramatic approach than a comedic one like the films of the latter.
Since his debut film “Fists in the Pocket”, Bellocchio has told stories about Italy with a chiaroscuro lens that captures more shadows than light and his operatic performances give his actors a chance to burst out in tears or lash out in anger at any given moment. At the end of his movies we can never hope for answer but another question to ponder for days to come. With Dormant Beauty, Bellochio uses his own brand of social satire to tackle the issue of the “Right to Die”.
Based on the true case of Eluano Englaro, who died in 2009, after remaining in a vegetative state for 17 years, this weaves together various tales of characters dealing with their own personal demons and how they all intertwine with what is going on with Englaro in the national debate. I sat down with Bellocchio to discuss his process when writing a screenplay, what it’s like to juggle various characters and how to find an ending to stories that never seem to end. A 2012 Venice Film Festival Main Competition entry, this finally arrives stateside via Emerging Pictures (06.06).
Photo & Camera credit: Jeong Park