Love and Anarchy

Love and Anarchy ★★★½

A weird one. Also my first Lina Wertmüller. I know she is known for some very controversial, thought provoking and out there movies so I think this was a nice and succinct introduction, especially since it didn't get particularly disturbing until the last twenty minutes. I liked the Errico Malatesta quote that finished out the film, about how while these singular assassination attempts hurt the anti fascist and socialist-anarchist cause in the present, these everyday people pushed to the brink by oppression should still be seen as heroes and martyrs of the cause after fascism has actually fallen. That is how I was feeling throughout a lot of Love and Anarchy (Tunin is right but the plan is foolish), and that end quote made me understand that feeling is totally intentional. Love and Anarchy becomes an interesting thought experiment in that regard, because I spent much of the movie obviously knowing that Mussolini was not assassinated in the 1930s and thus wondering if this was an alternate history film and from there wondering what would have happened if Mussolini actually had been killed before the Second World War. Fascism needs a charismatic authoritarian to work, would Fascist Italy have someone who could adequately follow in Mussolini's footsteps? How would the public react to Mussolini's death? Would he become a martyr? Would his successor be able to tamper resistance? Would it even matter if they didn't find someone who could? I think Malatesta answers that question: that killing Mussolini probably wouldn't matter all that much in terms of ending fascism as Italy's government's a police state. They don't care what the public thinks as long as they can control them. "Martyring" Mussolini is, in the moment, counterproductive. And yet, when fascism falls and Mussolini's legacy is less than dirt, his assassin would become a hero. It's a bit of a paradox.

In conclusion: fascism is fucking terrible.

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