The Mattei Affair | Chicago Reader

The Mattei Affair

Francesco Rosi's dynamic and riveting political thriller (1972) about the death of Italy's most notorious tycoon, Enrico Mattei (Gian Maria Volonte). The film supplies everything lacking in flashy, empty exercises like Costa-Gavras's State of Siege: depth, intelligence, genuine ambiguity. Rosi structures his film like a 70s version of Citizen Kane, using documentary footage, flashbacks, and simulated news coverage to tell the story of the man once called “the most powerful Italian since Julius Caesar.” Technically stunning, powerfully acted—a winner in every department.

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