Bellocchio's next pic about Mussolini's son

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LOCARNO, Switzerland -- Italian director Marco Bellocchio said Friday that his next film project will be about part of the life of Benito Mussolini.

Bellochio said the project, to be called "Vincere" (Win), will center on Benito Albino Mussolini, the former Italian dictator's illegitimate son who died in a Milan asylum in 1942. The younger Mussolini was born to the dictator's first wife, Ida Dalser, whom he married in 1915 and who herself died in an asylum near Venice in 1937.

The relationship between the leader and beautician Dalser was a source of embarrassment to Fascist Party leaders, who reportedly tried to cover it up -- making a reconstruction of the life of Dalser and her son particularly difficult.

Bellocchio said that a well-done film about Mussolini is an automatic draw in Italy.

"Like Garibaldi and Berlusconi, Mussolini is a star who automatically attracts interest," Bellocchio said, referring to 19th century Italian patriot Giuseppe Garibaldi and current-day media tycoon and three-time Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

No other details were released about the film, which will be based in part on two books from Italian journalist Marco Zeni: "The Last Thread" and "Mussolini's Wife."

The director spoke to reporters from the sidelines of the Locarno Film Festival, where he is part of a special sidebar called Back to Locarno, in which directors who got an early break at the festival return to present their original films.

Bellocchio is in town to host a screening of "Fists in His Pocket," which won a Silver Sail award here in 1965.
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