A Howl of Defiance from the Italian Sixties

Inside Criterion / Sneak Peeks — Sep 3, 2019


The twenty-five-year-old Marco Bellocchio certainly didn’t pull any punches with his stylish, subversive debut feature. Following a young man (Lou Castel) in the provinces who sets out to do away with his own dysfunctional family, Fists in the Pocket (1965) mercilessly mocks bourgeois values and Catholic hypocrisy, giving a jolt of savage social criticism to an Italian cinema that was then still in the shadow of humanistic neorealism. In the video above, a clip from a supplement on our new Blu-ray release of the film, scholar Stefano Albertini identifies some of the currents of Italian unrest that Bellocchio so brilliantly channeled into his controversial debut. As Albertini observes here, Fists in the Pocket emerged during a time of great change in the country, not long after the Socialist Party entered the coalition government and the Second Vatican Council brought reform to the Catholic Church, and in particular expressed the sense of alienation felt by the generation that would go on to make its voice heard in the protests of 1968.