This is nothing less than a formidable film of almost excruciating force and power in its overwhelmingly correct realism in depicting the tremendous passion of this the greatest of free-thinkers, his denouncement by his best friend and host and the horrible inhumanity of the bureaucracy of the inquisition. When once in the hands of the inquisition, the system was simply so constructed, that it was impossible to get out again - no revocation could help, and all that Venice could do, being after all a republic out of papal control, was to wash their hands and hand the case over to others, leading to a constantly more desperately dwindling spiral of a process to perdition. Gian Maria Volonte is magnificent as Bruno, he couldn't have been made more convincing in his increasingly desperate argument and protests, showing also his very human sides, while the chief merit of the film is its marvellous visual language, often turning the film into pure expressionism, aided by the at times overwhelmingly apt music by Ennio Morricone. This is more than a film, it's an inspired passion of a film, showing Italian historical realism at its best. I didn't know this film existed before I stumbled upon it searching for something else, and starting to watch it there was nothing else to do but to see it through till the end.
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