Film Review by Kam Williams
Headline: Chilling Bio-Pic Reveals
Silvio Berlusconi is
All you need to know is that Berlusconi is basically
In Videocracy, a jaw-dropping documentary directed by Erik Gandini, we’re treated to the sight of wannabe Velinas and Miss Billionaires as they queue up to audition in droves, American Idol-style. When asked why they’d humiliate themselves to land a position where they’ll be expected to expose themselves, the typical contestant’s naïve response is that they see it as a stepping-stone to fame or to marriage to a pro soccer player or a multi-millionaire. And not only are shapely signorinas showing up at the studios, but so are a lot of self-deluded and/or desperate battle-axes nobody really wants to see disrobe, except perhaps to serve as the butt of a cruel joke.
More important than chronicling such displays of misogynistic depravity is Videocracy’s earnest endeavor to issue a dire warning about the consequences of allowing virtually all of a nation’s media programming and political power to fall into the hands of one individual. For, inter alia, we learn that Silvio Berlusconi, who is rumored to have mob connections, has given himself immunity from prosecution. He sounds more like a monarch than an elected official. Thus, what has evolved is an unseemly scenario where the masses of mesmerized couch potatoes are being titillated ad nauseam while
Furthermore, Berlusconi orders any unflattering images of himself destroyed, although he’s the owner of every major gossip magazines anyway. And the benevolent despot (some suggest malevolent) even had this film banned from Italian movie theaters. Why? Because he is acutely aware that in the 21st Century’s electronic age where image trumps substance, the key to power rests in always being able to manipulate the message in one’s own favor without regard to the truth.
A chilling, cautionary expose’ of Orwellian dimensions.
Excellent (4 stars)
In English and Italian with subtitles.
Running time: 85 Minutes
Distributor: Lorber Films