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Sunday, June 9, 2013

PIAZZA FONTANA: THE ITALIAN CONSPIRACY Review - Open Roads: New Italian Cinema 2013

2013, 129 minutes
Not Rated

Review by Joshua Handler

Photo courtesy of Cattleya
An interpretation of a horrifying bombing in 1969 Italy, Piazza Fontana: The Italian Conspiracy is an unevenly paced, yet still interesting film about a piece of history not widely known in the United States.    I am not going into more plot detail than that, as it is far too complicated.  And that is part of the problem.  The way the film is edited contributed to how hard Piazza Fontana was to follow.  At the beginning, the background information stays onscreen for far too little time before launching into a beginning that throws out so many characters that is hard to keep track of all of them.  Then, the film slows, quickens, and goes on like that for the rest of the movie.  Because the beginning throws out so much information, the foundation isn't set for the rest of the film, making it frustrating to watch and follow.  The beginning also did not hook me like I would have wanted it to, making my desire to make the effort to really remember everyone wain.  

In addition, there is very little character development.  So many characters appear throughout the film that it would be impossible to flesh out every one.  However, the lead few should have been developed, as there is a lot of room for complexity and moral conflict.  This is a movie that should have been driven by character.  The main character shows hints of complexity and could have been psychologically interesting, but instead, the filmmakers decided to focus on too many characters, weakening the other characters in the process, and thus weakening my emotional connection to the film.

That being said, there is much to like about the film.  I had no complaints acting-wise, as all turned in solid performances.  The story is, while convoluted, very interesting, as it is a historical event that I knew nothing about.  Learning about little-known (at least in America) historical events fascinatesPiazza Fontana are really compelling.  Had the entire movie played the way these sections did, it would have been excellent.  
me and I relish the opportunity to learn.

Overall, Piazza Fontana was a good, yet far from great drama about a really fascinating period in history.  To reiterate, it was an interpretation of the event, but it was very interesting.  I would love to learn more about this period in Italian history and would like to see a better movie about the Piazza Fontana bombing.


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