The Conviction | Chicago Reader

The Conviction

A singularly weird if watchable Italian courtroom drama about rape from the once very promising Marco Bellocchio (Fist in the Pocket, China Is Near), who more recently has been known for his ponderous sexual psychodramas and for having his psychotherapist present on his shooting locations to advise him on each shot. Perhaps he could use a better therapist. In this 1990 feature a young woman who finds herself locked inside an art museum is approached and, after some initial reluctance, seduced by an architect. Afterward the architect reveals that he was responsible for locking her inside the museum, and the woman brings rape charges against him. In the courtroom the architect expounds at length on the philosophy of rape and the philosophy of orgasm; for him, her orgasm proves there was no violence. Bellocchio seems to think he has a point; as he puts it, “I am convinced that violence against women must be severely punished by law, but at the same time the perpetrator or the rapist is not really a rapist, but the 'ideal' man which every woman is looking for deep down, the man who does not destroy the woman's identity, but by stimulating her desire does not disappoint her and therefore enables her to 'be born' and to strengthen her own identity.” Come again?

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