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In her first independently-financed feature, Cavani reimagines Sophocles’s ‘Antigone’ in the heavily-stylised and overtly-political 1970 film I Cannibali—updating the canonical Theban tragedy and relocating its action to contemporary Milan, Cavani’s futuristic dystopia brought to life by a bombastic, bold use of colour, and an insurgent original score by Ennio Morricone.
Cavani's second feature, a film that makes an impassioned plea for the primacy of the evidence of the senses as against a seemingly undentable wall of dogma and passively accepted consensus opinion. And the plea is articulated in the early part of the film with real urgency, fervour and individuality. The impenetrable, monolithic quality of state-authenticated truth is wittily rendered in the rigid curlicues and ostentatious grandeur of Papal architecture, and the argument is convincingly developed around the person of Giordano Bruno (Kolaiancev), Galileo's fellow scientist and martyr.
After his appearance in Marco Bellocchio’s 1965 debut Fists in the Pocket, Lou Castel is cast in the titular role, embodying Francis and his social and spiritual conversion in this black-and-white neorealist portrait of the patron saint of Italy. After airing between May 6 and May 8, 1966, Cavani had her first brush with controversy, Francesco d’Assisi described as “heretical, blasphemous, and offensive for the faith of the Italian people.