A documentary about Italy's ruthless dictator Benito Mussolini will show unseen images of the tyrant's corpse.
Presented at Turin Film Festival, The Body of the Duce, by horror film-maker Fabrizio Laurenti, puts together 50-minutes of footage of gory pictures of Mussolini's body.
From Piazzale Loreto in 1945, where Mussolini's corpse was displayed to an angry crowd and hanged from a lamppost, the documentary shows the morbid link between the dead dictator's body as a representation of the power and the downtrodden Italian people, who were finally able to retaliate and abuse him after 20 years of absolute power.
An neo-fascist group seized Mussolini's body after Piazzale Loreto and it was discovered a year later by Milan police. Thed new film continues from this point, showing shots of Mussolini's corpse in decomposition and partly mummified. The images were hidden in a top-secret folder in the Italian Ministry of Internal Affairs for over half a century. "Even in death, Mussolini remains a cumbersome figure because too many Italians adored him when he was still alive," says the voiceover.
The movie is inspired by a book of the same title by the historian Sergio Luzzatto. In the book, the obsession with physical appearance, a key feature of the Fascism, was transformed after the fall of Mussolini into a fascination with his dead body.
Mussolini and his his mistress Clara Petacci was captured near Lake Como as he was trying to escape to Switzerland on 27 April 1945. They were summarily executed the day after, along with ministers and officials of the Italian Social Republic. On 29 April 1945, the bodies of Mussolini, Petacci and other executed Facists were loaded on a van and dumped on the old Piazzale Loreto.