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FILMS Italia

S.B. Io lo conoscevo bene hits theatres

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- The documentary directed by Giacomo Durzi and Giovanni Fasanella distributed by Intramovies Picks will open Tuesday, in the middle of election season

S.B. Io lo conoscevo bene hits theatres

On 12 November 2011, Silvio Berlusconi handed in his notice as prime minister after heading four governments over the course of seventeen years. It seemed like the definite fall of an empire. But truth be told, the Italian cavaliere is back on his horse and to understand what his destiny will be, one will have to wait for the next elections to be held.

Ascension and fall from power is the theme of S.B. Io lo conoscevo bene [+see also:
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, a documentary written and directed by Giacomo Durzi and Giovanni Fasanella and produced by Kinesis Film, which will be opening in Italy on February 5 after being presented n the Perspectives Section of the 2012 Rome International Film Festival. Intramovies Picks, the new Italian branch of international company Intramovies, will be distributing the film. Berlusconi’s party, the People of Freedom, criticised the film’s timing, which falls in the middle of an election period. Giovanni Fasanella explained that this was “just a coincidence. Who could have imagined that the announcement of a definitive retirement was not real?”

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About a dozen films have so far been made on the Italian politician, from the French "Sua maesta’” by Stéphane Bentura in 2003 to Silvio Forever [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 by Roberto Faenza and Filippo Macelloni in 2011. What makes S.B. Io lo conoscevo bene different from the others is that it is based on interviews with his friends as well as former friends. Men and women who believed in him, but whose image of "berlusconismo" eventually crashed.

Vittorio Dotti, personal lawyer and friend to Berlusconi, former Milan mayor Paolo Pillitteri, reporters Giuliano Ferrara and Paolo Guzzanti, former Publitalia manager Armando Cicero, head of communication at Fininvest Davide Rampello, former show girl turned parliamentarian Gabriella Carlucci, powerful former minister Paolo Cirino Pomicino, head of the "Gladio" secret structure Francesco Gironda, General Luigi Manfredi, former minister appointed to the Mani Pulite investigations Tiziana Parenti, psychiatrist Alessandro Meluzzi. A very diverse pool of people tied together by a common experience of closeness to Berlusconi, followed by disillusion. They tell the story of a great mass communicator who captured people’s imagination through three fundamental elements, Dotti explains: “simplicity of language, common sense and superficiality.”

His entrepreneur and then television editor past is reconstructed tying him into socialist leader Bettino Craxi. His ascension to power is traced through his desire to be loved, his sense of revenge towards the business elite, constituted by the De Benedetti, the Pirelli, the Tronchetti Provera. His accession to power is described though the desert left by the great investigations into political corruption in the early nineties. No mention of his judicial woes, but a few moments of serious embarrassment, like the images of Queen Elizabeth II during a group photo with heads of states, who turned around to exclaim: “who is this man? Must he really scream?” The last chapter is called “the empire’s fall.” But are we really sure this is the case? 

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(Translated from Italian)

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