Auteur to tell tale of dictator's son

ROME — Italo helmer Marco Bellocchio will tackle the touchy subject of fascist dictator Benito Mussolini’s illegitimate son in a film being developed by RAI Cinema.

Born out of wedlock before Mussolini came to power in 1922, the child was named Benito. Mussolini hid the child and mother, beautician Ida Dalser, in asylums where both died before Mussolini’s execution in 1945.

Though known to historians, this dark detail about the dictator has never seeped into mainstream Italian culture.

“It’s an Italian tragedy, a largely unknown story which I think will cause plenty of discussion,” Bellocchio said.

RAI Cinema, pubcaster RAI’s production and distribution unit, is seeking a co-production partner for the 1930s drama. Project is in final script stage.

Bellocchio is no novice to historical themes with strong impact on Italy’s national psyche.

His “Good Morning, Night,” a fictional depiction of the kidnapping and murder in 1978 of Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro by Red Brigades terrorists, was a local box office draw in 2003. It also won critical kudos, including the screenplay nod at the Venice Film Festival.

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