Saturday, 4 July 2015

A film review: "Eva Braun" [2015, Italy]

Simone Scafidi had stated that his latest feature "Eva Braun" was inspired by the Italian sex scandals of the Berlusconi years where political favours and business contracts could apparently be procured for a price.

Adele Raes and Andrea de Onestis in Eva Braun (2015) Giulia Faggioni in "Eva Braun" (2015)
Federica Fracassi, Giulia Faggioni, Adele Raes, and Nathan Macchioni in "Eva Braun" (2015) Susanna Giaroli and Andrea de Onestis in "Eva Braun" (2015, Italy)
Adele Raes, Andrea de Onestis, and Federica Fracassi in "Eva Braun" (2015) "Eva Braun" [2015, Italy]

Scafidi's not-too-subtle satire picks up a strand from Marquis de Sade's "120 Days of Sodom" to propel the story. Pier (Andrea de Onestis) is a powerful media baron but his connections extend well beyond the media industry. And importantly for him, many people are also aware that he has these connections.

Romy (Susanna Giaroli), Pier's secretary and lover, scouts, contacts, and encourages the young unemployed, struggling artists, and businessmen in financial trouble to come and meet her boss at his private villa to find a solution for their problem.


In exchange for Pier's favour, they'll have to perform any task that he asks them to do, no matter how outrageous or humiliating they might be. Romy assembles one such group for a week at Pier's villa, and they include Elisa (Federica Fracassi), a former teacher hoping to set-up a spa business, her wannabe pop-star son Matteo (Nathan Macchioni), his girlfriend and faltering left-wing newspaper publisher Marta (Giulia Faggioni), naive graduate Bea (Adele Raes), and Sara (Gabriella Riva) - a budding film maker seeking finance for her film.

They have to entertain and role-play games that Pier comes up with, and if they do what he asks of them, they'll get what they've come for. The twisted and often sick games that Pier devises will test the extent to which they'd debase themselves in order to please him. Pier's vicarious pleasure-seeking and sadistic urges barely conceal his insecurities in forming meaningful relationships.

By forcing the group to breach their morals, Pier is questioning society the limits to which they're willing to go in order to get what they want. To what extent is ambition a true virtue, and what depths are these people willing to descend in chasing it...


While the film isn't nearly as shocking as Pasolini's own adaptation of Marquis de Sade's work, there's still an air of decadence, menace, and decay that won't go unnoticed. Like Pier, everything around him is fading away. It is a thought-provoking black comedy whose scope certainly extends beyond Italian politics. It is evident from the film's title that Scafidi was also experimenting with additional themes, and mostly succeeds in Romy's characterisation. The cast give an honest, uninhibited performance, and there's nothing pretentious about their characters. Some scenes in the film are positively erotic, perhaps disturbingly. It is nevertheless Recommended Viewing..!

Amazon DVD Link [PAL] | Amazon Instant Video


The Nudity: Giulia Faggioni, Adele Raes, Federica Fracassi, Nathan Macchioni, Gabriella Riva, and Susanna Giaroli
The film features scenes of frontal nudity from most of the main characters, but none of them are explicit. There is also a montage of an 'orgy' set to classical music that some may find interesting.

Giulia Faggioni, Adele Raes, Federica Fracassi, Nathan Macchioni, and Susanna Giaroli nude in "Eva Braun" [2015, Italy]


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