Fest throws light on dark Mussolini chapter

Fest throws light on dark Mussolini chapter

The Italian film, directed by Marco Bellocchio, makes storytelling effective by using a large amount of documentary footage, mixing reality with fiction to tell the tale of Ida Irene Dalser, the daughter of a wealthy man who gave her everything for the welfare of Mussolini, only to be spurned and sent to a mental asylum by the vengeful dictator.

Even their son, Benito Albino Mussolini, who was first recognised by the Duce as his son two months after his birth in 1915, was deprived of the Mussolini name through a royal decree in 1932. And he too was sent to a mental asylum where he died just like his mother.

The film begins with the young Ida getting impressed by the speeches of the bashful Mussolini, then working with the newspaper Avanti!. When he was fired from his job, Ida sold her beauty salon and apartment to help him start the newspaper Il Popolo d’Italia, which became the official mouthpiece of the National Fascist Party.

The film then goes into how Mussolini abandons Ida and later how he refused to give her and son due recognition.

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