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Love and Anarchy (15*) + introduction by Isabel Stevens

Hidden Figures – Lina Wertmüller

Love and Anarchy

Giancarlo Giannini won the Best Actor award at Cannes for his moving portrayal of a farm boy who plans to assassinate Mussolini in Lina Wertmüller’s acclaimed tragicomedy.

When his anarchist friend is murdered, a farm worker (Giancarlo Giannini) travels to Rome to assassinate Mussolini, and takes cover in a brothel, where a sex worker (Mariangela Melato) helps him to realise his plan. When he falls in love with one of the sex workers (Lina Polito), love threatens to thwart his mission.

Unlike the bawdy comedy and larger-than-life caricatures are present across the Love and Anarchy season, this has a more melancholy tone than Lina Wertmüller’s best known films, and shuns ironic distance in favour of a poignant portrait of an idealist man completely out of his depth.

Giannini gives a much more subtle performance than in his other Wertmüller collaborations, and the scenes in the brothel scenes offer some of the strongest females characters in the director’s filmography, with Melato on particularly fiery form.

This screening is introduced by writer and curator Isabel Stevens.

Italy/France 1973 Dir Lina Wertmüller 120 min

* = locally classified by the City of London Corporation

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From the curator

Barbican Cinema 2