An ode to freedom
by Camillo de Marco
- VENICE 2015: Blood of my Blood by Marco Bellocchio is the third Italian film in competition at Venice, and will be released in theatres starting from 9 September
Blood of my Blood [+see also:
interview: Marco Bellocchio
film profile] by Marco Bellocchio is the third Italian film in competition at the Venice Film Festival and probably the most eagerly awaited. It will be released in Italian theatres starting from tomorrow, with 100 copies being distributed by 01 Distribution. The film is set in the town of Bobbio, where the director, originally from the province of Piacenza himself, spent his holidays as a boy, shot Fist in his Pocket, and set up a film laboratory for young people."It’s a free film, in which I tell the story of Bobbio, a world in itself. It’s a story which shifts back and forth between the past and the present, without worrying too much about giving answers to everything”, said Bellocchio when he met with Italian journalists. Indeed, the film takes place in the seventeenth century and the present day, moving between the two time periods throughout.
Cineuropa: Did you not want to create a greater sense of follow-on between past and present in the film?
Marco Bellocchio: I like to break with tradition, I wanted to do things my way. What happens happens. The film doesn’t have that American rigour where everything has to dovetail. I always try to do what I want to do. That’s how this film came about, its strangeness is its defining feature.
The town of Bobbio is a protagonist of this film.
The film was born on the back of a chance discovery of the ancient prisons of Bobbio, which inspired the story of Benedetta, a nun walled up alive in the prison-convent of Santa Chiara in Bobbio. It seemed to me that this story, unearthed by a past long forgotten, deserved to be brought back to modern-day Italy and more specifically, to a provincial Italy, in Bobbio, which modernity and globalisation have wiped out.
There’s also a more personal side to this film.
I wanted to tell the story of what happened before this event, the story of a young man bound to his twin. I think that a certain tragedy from my own personal experience, which I tell the story of in a direct way in The Eyes, The Mouth, is told in a more indirect way here but in a way that gives more details of my life and what happened in 1981 [Editor’s Note: the death of the director’s twin brother].
Once again women are a key point of the narration here.
I tend to attribute strength, vitality and character to women, based on my own experience. Benedetta represents freedom, she’s a woman who refuses to surrender and is true to herself until the bitter end. Hers is a symbolic strength that remains over time, miraculously defending her freedom.
She stands up to the Church. Religion is another important element of your films.
I haven’t been converted, let’s be clear, I’m an ever-increasingly middle-of-the-road anarchist. Power, however, still annoys me, just like the power of the Church at that time. It doesn’t come so naturally to me to speak ill of today’s Church, also because I have to admit that we have a Pope who is more left wing than the Left. On many topics, however, above all those related to family, I still disagree with the Church.
In addition to Roberto Herlitzka, Alba Rohrwacher and Federica Fracassi, the film stars your daughter Elena, son Pier Giorgio and brother Alberto.
I couldn’t not cast them, it came naturally to me. Your children are the blood of your blood, they’re the ones you have to face up to. You live a part of your life with them, you experience hopes and dreams, disappointments and joy together.
(Translated from Italian)