Zero Zero Zero

The tragic mafia

VENICE: Mafia and corruption were the themes of several films at the Venice Film Festival in September. But why are so many attracted to power, since it so easily corrupts over time?

Responsible editor of MODERN TIMES
Published: 2019-10-01

Can a bunch of films at the annual Venice Film Festival suggest something about power in our time? Possibly. Let's see how they deal with the tragic power:

The Portuguese movie A cure (the Domain) by Tiago Guedes is similar to Italian Bertolucci's epic 1900 - where you follow rulers and subjects for generations. For almost three hours we follow A cure ("Domain") the story of the wealthy Fernandes family. 1946: Father raises his son João - hard-handed. 1973: Portugal's nepotistic and fascist political upper class pushes the new head of the family with adult João Fernandes (played by Albano Jerónimo) to support them - he refuses despite being in family with them; he is not corrupt.

A Shepherd (the Domain)

Then the Portuguese carnival revolution overthrew Estado Novo's authoritarian regime in 1974 - as we see in the film, where the rich fascists have to flee their heads over Brazil. João, on the other hand, has been a more independent landowner, and remains. He meets the challenges of the time. But he is the strong one at the top, as his father brought him to stay. And he is happy to be happy with the women in the workforce - and it is slowly but surely going the wrong way. 1991: The estate with its huge corn and rice fields that provided Portugal for a number of years has been sold off piecemeal, and its wealth has diminished. And so does the family, which is starting to leave him. The lies had become too many. Fate obtained João. His wife left him. And his young son recalls being bathed in ice-cold water as a child, to cure - in which he tells his father that his feelings for him remained just as icy, as he says on the way out the door at the end of the movie. And then, abandoned, João blasts in despair his dear black stallion, who eventually plunges. One more he hurt. He has to shoot the horse, and the movie ends where it began, with the now elderly João taking refuge in the little ruin where he played as a child - alone.

Too much power like…

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