In the Name of the Father

1971, Italy, 107m, DCP

Showtimes & Tickets

Screened May 18, 2024

By setting the action at the end of the 1950s, coinciding with the death of Pope Pius XII, Bellocchio with In the Name of the Father creates one of his most ferocious parables against the will of the Catholic Church to become the arbiter of society and of secular, psychological destiny and spiritual of entire youth generations. The backdated interior of a religious institute thus becomes the microcosm of the protest and of all its future contradictions of class and cultural, social and political orientation. As in Fists in the Pocket, Bellocchio doesn’t play anyone’s game: his characters are the guinea pigs of a historical experiment. Madness and frustration reign supreme among priests and among young students or servants, between parents and children, without the possibility of meeting or immediate solution. Rebellion against an established order, anachronistic and ridiculous, within the context of the Cold War, is in the air and nothing can stop the system of power from exploding from within. Sacred images are debased, study disciplines mocked, authoritarian fathers are slapped and mothers, jealous of their children, become the missed target of gunshots; yet the protest has socially incompatible objectives and origins: the servants of proletarian origin ask for better economic treatment, while the students, of upper-middle class background, are either too passive or follow the leader dangerously convinced of the “scientific” and regenerative right of the Superman. — Anton Giulio Mancino

A film by Marco Bellocchio