Before the Revolution 1964
105 mins Italy Director. Bernardo Bertolucci
For his second feature Bernardo Bertolucci emerged from the neorealist climate that shaped his debut The Grim Reaper to a more stylised and politicised cinema, owing much to the influence of his newfound mentor Jean-Luc Godard.
Young, middle-class and idealistic, Fabrizio struggles to reconcile a commitment to revolutionary ideals with his bourgeois background and the lure of conformity. And an impulsive affair with his free-spirited aunt only adds to his uncertainties.
A fascinating record of the flowering of 1960s radicalism, Bertolucci captures the passion and ideology, and also the compromises of this fervent period. With virtuoso camerawork and a classy score by Ennio Morricone, Bertolucci's beautifully operatic film was winner of the Cannes Critics' Week prize in 1964.