Many fell victim to Benito Mussolini’s rise to dictatorship – among them Ida Dalser, the mother of his first-born son. It is unclear whether she was also his first wife, because presumably »Il Duce« had all documents that might have proven it destroyed. However, he did acknowledge her son Benito Albino as his own. He got Dalser off his back by having her put in a psychiatric ward. Setting out from this story of a tragic amour fou, acclaimed veteran Italian director Marco Bellocchio (GOOD MORNING, NIGHT) recounts how the whole of Italy was taken in with the fascist leader. Bellocchio creates a rousing period film by making masterful use of stock footage, employing aesthetics reminiscent of Italian futurism, and never once resorting to a cliché of the biopic genre. Filippo Timi brilliantly embodies Mussolini’s chilling charisma bordering on murderous delusion. Giovanna Mezziogiorno delivers a tour de force of a performance in the role of the radically self-sacrificial Ida Dalser.