Kidnapped ★★★★★ — Jewish Renaissance

Bellocchio’s cinematography is stunning, with many interior scenes in chiaroscuro, lit like a Caravaggio painting. Care has been taken to reconstruct settings and even the speech sounds authentic: Enea Sala, who plays the child Edgardo, comes from Bologna and speaks in the local accent. The acting is first class: Paolo Pierobon as Pius IX can chill with his eyes, while manufacturing a benevolent smile; Fabio Massimo Capogrosso’s powerful score is used sparingly throughout the film, rising to a crescendo in the highest dramatic moments.

Kidnapped illustrates the maxim attributed to the Jesuits: “Give me the boy before the age of seven and I’ll show you the man.” It reminds us of the complex, troubled history of Jewish-Catholic relations, and of the corrupting nature of absolute power. 

By Irene Wise

Photos © Anna Camerlingo

Kidnapped is out now at select UK cinemas and available to stream on Curzon Home Cinema.

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