Born in 1939, Marco Bellocchio studied film after his education on religion and philosophy. I Pugni in Tasca / Fist in His Pocket, the film he made in 1966 following few shorts, in fact resembled a fist ready for a punch, just like its title. The film had such an effect that while being subject to months lasting discussions in its scandal-loving homeland, it spread through the whole world, and even arrived at us: those who frequented the Turkish Cinematheque would recall this perfectly! According to some resources the way he started the business, right at the peak, did not turn out very well for the director. Just like Orson Welles, all his later films were compared to this debut. In fact, those later films were no less interesting. Europe was going through 1968 when he made La Cina e vicina / China is Near. Honouring Mao, the film targeted the supposedly revolutionist rural bourgeoisie. Nel Nome del Padre / In the Name of the Father attacked Italian-style belief and its fortress, the Catholic Church, in a sarcastic way. For the young director, all of society's untouchables were like sandcastles that needed to be torn down. Later on, he tried adaptations from the classics. He adapted Chekhov's famous play in Il Gabbiano / The Seagull, Luigi Pirandello's play in Henry IV, and Raymond Radiguet's novel in Il Diavolo in corpo / Devil in the Flesh. The latter rose bewilderment in Cannes in 1986, due to an explicit scene. The chaotic and anti-moralist style of Bellocchio had not changed at all! The director then continued on with his institutional criticisms. Tre Storie / Three Stories was about mental institutions, Salto nel vuoto / Leap into the Void dug deeper. He did not stop in the 90s and 2000s. Il Principe di Homburg / The Prince of Homburg was an adaptation from Heinrich Von Kleist and La Balia / The Wet-Nurse was from Pirandello. Buongiorno Notte / Good Morning, Night was an inexorable political film. Vincere was admired in Cannes in 2009: The director expressed interesting theories on the history of fascism, with his finely matured cinematography. For the Istanbul Film Festival, it will be a great pleasure to welcome him with this film and to present an Honorary Award to this "old boy".
– Atilla Dorsay

Photo © Mahmut Ceylan