Italy, France | 2009 | 128 min
Language : Italian
Subtitles : French, English
Interweaving fiction and archival images, Vincere follows the Mussolini years from the perspective of the dictator’s relationship with Ida Dalser—decisive in the creation of Il Popolo d’Italia, the newspaper that would soon become the mouthpiece of the National Fascist Party. Abandoned by the Duce and eventually sectioned, she is witness to the struggle against an unstoppable fascist future.
Vincere spans several episodes in the life of Mussolini from the perspective of his relationship with Ida Dalser; an encounter that was decisive for the creation in 1914 of the daily newspaper Il Popolo d’Italia, which would soon become the mouthpiece of the National Fascist Party. The director trims the details and chronological references from the Mussolini origin story, concentrating instead on a study of bodies and faces affected by the authoritarian context. Instead of a chronological ordering of the facts, Marco Bellocchio favours History seen through the prism of the regime of affects : Il Duce’s grip on Dalser – abandoned, then forcibly sectioned in 1927 – is the fascist agenda applied to private life. This reading is enabled by the visual success of a film suspended between its fiction and the director’s dedication to sculpting its scenes from archival material. The shots play a dual role, as the necessary palliatives for the images missing from Dalser’s account and as projections of her fight against collective amnesia. In this way, we understand the significant degradation between the timeless eroticism of Filippo Timi – who embodies the memory that Ida Dalser nourishes of Mussolini – and the square face of the dictator, frozen by archives.