Il divo (Il divo: La spettacolare vita di Giulio Andreotti) (The Deity)  (2008)

 

 

 

 

Director:     .

Starring:     Toni Servillo (Giulio Andreotti), Anna Bonaiuto (Livia Danese), Giulio Bosetti (Eugenio Scalfari), Flavio Bucci (Franco Evangelisti), Carlo Buccirosso (Paolo Cirino Pomicino), Giorgio Colangeli (Salvo Lima), Alberto Cracco (Don Mario), Piera Degli Esposti (Signora Enea), Lorenzo Gioielli (Mino Pecorelli), Paolo Graziosi (Aldo Moro), Gianfelice Imparato (Vincenzo Scotti), Massimo Popolizio (Vittorio Sbardella), Aldo Ralli (Giuseppe Ciarrapico), Giovanni Vettorazzo (Magistrato Scarpinato).

Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti, 1972-1973, 1976-1979, 1989 to 1992

 

 

Spoiler Warning:

"For more than fifty years, Giulio Andreotti was Italy's most powerful, feared and enigmatic politician. As seven-time Prime Minister, he and his hardliner faction led the ruling Christian Democrat Party (Democrazia Cristiana/DC).  On March 16th, 1978, members of the Leftist extremist group The Red Brigades (Brigate Rosse/BR) abducted Andreotti's centrist rival and former Prime Minister Aldo Moro.  The terrorists demanded freedom for several jailed comrades and released photos of Moro imprisoned in a large wooden crate.  Moro wrote hundreds of letters urging the government to negotiate.  To the shock of the nation, Prime Minister Andreotti refused.  Moro's bullet-riddle body was found 55 days later.  Over the next 15 years, a succession of top-level politicians, journalists, judges and bankers --  all connected to the Vatican, the Mafia or Andreotti himself  --  were murdered. Suspicion also fell upon the neo-fascist Masonic lodge P2 (Propaganda Due), whose members included future Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.  Andreotti has been called 'The Sphinx,' 'The Hunchback,' 'The Black Pope' and 'Il Divo.' He was tried, convicted and acquitted of conspiracy, corruption and murder.  In 1991, he was named Senator for Life."

 

"True power does not need arrogance, a long beard and a barking voice.  True power strangles you with silk ribbons, charm and intelligence."  Oriana Fallalci

Andreotti says people were always telling him he would not survive, but he always came out okay, while they did not.  And yet, on the down side, he suffered splitting headaches all his life.  He tried many "cures", including and the insertion of needles into his forehead. 

There a scenes of important men being killed. 

Aldo Moro, DC President, May 9, 1978. 

Mino Pecorelli.  Journalist.  March 20, 1979. 

Giorgio Ambrosoli.  Liquidator.  "Privata Italiana" Bank, July 12, 1979.

Roberto Calvi. Banker.  June 17, 1982. 

Carlo Alberto Dalla Chiesa.  Carabinieri General, September 3, 1982. 

Michele Sindona.  Banker.  March 22, 1986.  

Giovanni Falcone, Magistrate.  May 23, 1992.

Rome.  The early 1990's.  Andreotti takes a walk early in the morning when it is still dark out.  As he walks, he is accompanied by three cars that hold body guards.  The body guards cover the front, the middle and the back of the procession.  Andreotti stops to read some political graffiti.  "Massacres and conspiracies are the work of Craxi and Andreotti."  [Benedetto "Bettino" Craxi  (24 February 1934 19 January 2000) was an Italian politician, head of the Italian Socialist Party from 1976 to 1993 and Prime Minister of Italy from 1983 to 1987. He was the first member of the PSI to hold the office, as well as the third Prime Minister from a socialist party.]

Andreotti walks on to a church and goes inside.  A clergyman stops to speak with him.  Andreotti has been the Premier seven times and minister 25 times. He tells the priest that he wants to confess. 

Paolo Cirino Pomicino, Chancellor of the Exchequer, alias "The Minister", parks his car in front of Andreotti's place.   He gets out of the car. Flanking him are two gorgeous, tall brunettes, his press agents:  Caterina Stagno and Diletta Petronio. 

Franco Evangelisti, Andreotti's right-hand man, alias "The Lemon".

Now arriving is Giuseppe Ciarrapico, Businessman, alias "Il Ciarra".

Next comes Vittorio Sbardella. DC MP, alias "The Shark".

After that comes Cardinal Fiorenzo Angelini, alias "His Healthiness".

And then arrives Salvo Lima, DC MP, alias "His Excellency". 

These men constitute the Andreotti faction of the Christian Democrats.  They walk in to where Andreotti is getting a shave from a barber.  Today is the inception of the 7th Andreotti government.  It's a day of celebration. 

Andreotti goes into an ornate room, to be welcomed by applause by the people already in the room.  He shakes the hand of the President of the Republic, Francesco Cossiga.  And now the entire group poses for photos taken by the press.  These people make up the 7th Andreotti government.

As narrator, Andreotti says:  " . . . I've been blamed for everything that's happened in Italy."

A woman is a bit scared to go in and see Andreotti.  She tells the secretary Aena that they say Andreotti is a dangerous man.  The secretary tells her that Andreotti is daring, but not dangerous. 

There is a party going on with a band playing what sounds like Brazilian music and with women samba dancers on top of several tables.  Andreotti is there sitting on a couch while people are busy dancing to the music.  His wife Livia says it's midnight and Andreotti is leaving tomorrow.  So they say good night while the dancers keep on dancing. 

The next day Andreotti is in the Kremlin, Moscow.  At night he calls his wife.  She asks him about Gorbachev.  He says it's a state secret. 

A voice asks Andreotti what will he be remembered as:  a cold organizer; a man incapable of pity?   Andreotti sees an image of Aldo Moro in captivity. 

Andreotti tells Paolo Cirino Pomicino, Chancellor of the Exchequer, that he is mad at Andreotti because he didn't defend Paolo from Cossiga's accusations.  Andreotti tells Paolo that he has a terrible migraine today.  Paolo dismisses this by saying that Andreotti always has a migraine. 

Andreotti has been telling his men that they must keep the drug Tedax for migraines in the pharmaceutical codex. 

A very upset Salvo Lima, DC MP, with his head covered by sweat, nervously waits for Andreotti to finish his phone call.   He gets impatient and leaves the room.

The woman who was afraid to see Andreotti goes into see him.

Vincenzo Scotti, Interior Minister, alias "Tarzan", tells Andreotti that the Mafia killed Salvo Lima. The Premier gets a telephone call. It's Teresa his cousin. She's the same age as the Premier but is always in the hospital.

Vincenzo says he will never understand Andreotti. The Premier says that when he learned that Aldo Moro had been kidnapped, he had an uncontrollable bout of vomiting. But these types of incidents only helps remind us that we are still alive and human.

The Premier goes to confession. The priest tells him that he has too many members of his close circle who are associated with the Mafia. Andreotti responds that one has to fight a war with the troops that are available. The priest asks him if he is suffering due to the death of Lima? Andreotti says that he suffers for Moro. All else has just washed over him, but he just can't get Moro out of his head.

At a party the Andreotti inner circle gets together. Paolo says that the group wants Andreotti to be elected the President of Italy. The Premier says yes to the idea.

Livia asks her husband if he gets elected President, will they live in the Quirinal or here? [The Quirinal Palace is an historic building in Rome that is the current official residence of the President of the Italian Republic. It is located on the Quirinal Hill, the highest of the seven hills of Rome. It has housed thirty popes, four kings and eleven presidents of the Italian Republic. Wikipedia.]  The husband remarks that they will stay here because the Quirinal would drive Livia mad.

There's a problem. There is another Christian Democrat who wants to run for the office of the presidency. And both candidates say they will not run for the office if the other candidate runs.

After four ballots, they still do not have a candidate.

In the end the presidency goes to Oscar Luigi Scalfaro.

There is a wave of suicides among politicians and businessmen. This is due to the anxiety of being sent to prison, or the accusations of corruption or bribery. Craxi says Andreottis is the puppeteer behind Bribesville. A guest says to Andreotti: "Your colleagues are falling prey to corruption and extortion." But Andreotti is never really touched by these scandals. And yet Andreotti is always suspected in each of the scandals. They also suspect that Andreotti has links to the Mafia.

Toto' Rina. Mafia boss of bosses, alias "The Beast". Imprisoned.

Giancarlo Caselli, Attorney General of Palermo. With this official begins a long discussion of the Mafia and its ties to politicians with suggestions of Andreotti being involved on numerous occasions. One of the investigators says that Andreotti cooperated with the Mafia, but in 1987 this changed and Andreotti started fighting the Mafia.

Andreotti tells Livia: "The Palermo Judges sent notification that I'm under investigation for Mafia connections." Livia says. we shall defend ourselves.

Andreotti talks as though he were speaking to his wife. He says he is responsible for terrible events: "The direct and indirect responsibility for all the carnage in Italy from 1969 to 1984 that left precisely 236 dead and 817 injured. . . . I confess that it was my fault, my most grievous fault." He justifies his deeds by saying he had to do wrong in order that Italy could do right for its people and its democracy. This was a "survival strategy". He says about his critics: "All of them thinking truth is the right thing, but, actually, it's the end of the world. We can't allow the end of the world in the name of what's right."  Evil is necessary for good.

Andreotti walks frenetically up and down the hall in his house the whole night. A doctor is called because the premier says his legs are really hurting. The doctor tells him to take better care of himself. Andreotti says what would really make him happy is Tedax, but the doctor tells him that Tedax was taken off the codex.

Andreotti's secretary Enea is let go because the boss' legal expenses have become such a heavy financial burden for him.

Andreotti walks through his private achieves on the activities of the people around him.

Andreotti goes to speak to some politicians. He says he had no real contacts in any meaningful way with the Mafia. He says if these trials discredit him, then they will also discredit Italy in the eyes of the world because he was for a long time the representative of Italy to the world.

The Premier no longer is able to sleep. His friends of his faction don't telephone him anymore.  Andreotti says these trials and accusations of bribery destroyed them too. His former associates were picked up by the police. Andreotti had to appear in court 26 times. But each time the accusations were dismissed.

In court he constantly repeated: "I don't remember."

And another court case proceeds involving the Mafia, Andreotti and his associates.

Andreotti says he never met Ignazio Salvo or Riina.

Franco Evangelisti dies.

Andreotti tells a close friend that he has a secret. He always had a passion for Mary Gassman, the famous actor's sister.

Andreotti speaks openly and frankly to the press. Then the trial begins.

A reporter writes: "Andreotti remained indifferent, leaden, distant, cocooned in his dark dream of glory." Speaking of the evil deeds committed involving Andreotti, the reporter asks: "What did all this mean for Andreotti, once he'd achieved the power to do evil, just as he'd always done evil in his life? All this meant nothing."

 

 

Good movie.  It seem amazing to me that one man could be the premier of Italy on seven different occasions.  He was acquitted of the charges of using the Mafia for major crimes, but, according to Wikipedia:  "The court established that Andreotti had indeed had strong ties to the Mafia until 1980 and had used them to further his political career to such an extent as to be considered part of the Mafia itself."  Andreotti's justification of his early actions were basically:  "The end justifies the means."  On the other hand, with a Mafia so strong as the one in Italy, probably most politicians had to compromise somewhat. 

Toni Servillo (as Giulio Andreotti) was very good. 

Patrick Louis Cooney, Ph. D. 

 

 

 

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