What’s on in cinemas now

Our Greek friend (formerly of Co Durham) loved it.

I lived in Durham City for five years in the early Eighties, but every day commuted across Co Durham to Teesside via the bleak, devastated mining villages. Two very, very different worlds that only met one day a year on the day of the Big Meet (the Miners’ Gala). Will have to see the film.


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Last night was L’enlèvement (kidnapped) an Italian film in all senses of the word! The friends we were with loved it but I was a touch more lukewarm as ended up feeling a bit battered around the head by its brilliance. It was a bit like a spoilt child saying “look at me”, “look at me”, “aren’t I just wonderful”.

Having said that the film was fascinating. Set in 1850’s - 1870’s and revolves around a true story of a young jewish child being removed from his family by decree of Pope Pious IX. A seriously nasty piece of work. This real event was a major scandal the time, and the film brings in the political aspects so the unification of Italy and the downfall of the papal states is intertwined with this story of tyranny and anti- semitism. Which makes for a full-on film packed with real historical detail and very gripping.

The cinematography was also remarkable. A bit like being plunged into Caravaggio’s world as each scene was so perfectly put together with interplay of light and shade. I think you could take any still from the film and hang it on a wall. One remarkable scene was when the Italian army broke into the Papal Palace, and black clad soldiers with dramatic helmets were chasing the young priests in their black soutanes hither and thither in a back-lit palace corridor. It could have been a Matthew Borne ballet!

And the casting! Even though edged towards caricature at times there were some stunning faces. You would not willingly be alone in a room with the Papal inquisitor Father Felleti, who just exuded evil.

I’m sure it will win things and, to me, is one of the best of Marco Bellocchio’s films.