Directed by Marco Bellocchio • Drama • With Maruschka Detmers • 1986 • 109 minutes
One of the most controversial Italians films of the '80s, DEVIL IN THE FLESH takes Raymond Radiguet's classic novel and updates it to modern times. Dealing with the legacy of Italy's "leaden years" and the aftermath of the social struggles headed by left wing revolutionary groups, DEVIL IN THE FLESH caused a critical uproar upon its release due to its highly-charged political and sexually frank subject matter. Maruschka Detmers (THE MAMBO KINGS) stars as Giulia, a young woman engaged to marry Giacomo, who's sitting behind bars because of his political activity. Restless in her appetites and inner turmoil, she meets a young student, Andrea and a passionate affair quickly ensues. But when the day arrives in which she has to face whether she wants to share her life with Giacomo or Andrea, Giulia makes a surprising decision.
Boldly directed by Marco Bellocchio (GOOD MORNING, NIGHT) and featuring superb cinematography by Giuseppe Lanci, DEVIL IN THE FLESH is a powerfully erotic film that deserves to be re-discovered and appreciated without preconceptions. With its mixing of political and sexual issues, Bellocchio retains the strength and relevancy of the classic text and makes a strong contemporary statement in favor of absolute artistic freedom. As controversial as films get, DEVIL IN THE FLESH remains one of the most important Italian films of our time.