( 2022, Italy, 134')
Inspired by real-life events – the story and legal troubles of poet and dramatist Aldo Braibanti – that took place in Italy in the late 1960s, the film depicts Braibanti’s trial. He had been accused of psychologically forcing into submission a student and friend of his, at the time barely of age. The young man was later sent by his family to a psychiatric hospital and was forced to undergo electroconvulsive therapy to free him from the influence of his supposedly deviant teacher. Years later, the criminal statute would be amended and plagio – or psychological submission – would cease to be a crime under Italian law. At the time, though, its existence was deemed sufficient to sentence a ‘misfit’ such as Braibanti. A lone journalist committed to finding out the truth, fighting suspicion and censorship.
A director and screenwriter, Gianni Amelio was born in 1945. His Così ridevano of 1998 earned him the Golden Lion in 1998, while Open Doors (1990) had been nominated for an Oscar. In 1991 and 1992, Amelio was a panel member at the Venice Film Festival, and in 1995, at Cannes.