Mussolini's son next for Bellocchio

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Italian director Marco Bellocchio says that his next film project will be about the illegitimate son of former Italian dictator Benito Mussolini.

Bellocchio said Friday that the project, to be called "Win," will tell the story of Benito Albino Mussolini, the fascist leader's 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 Italian 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 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 with reporters from the sidelines of the Locarno Film Festival, where he is part of a special Back to Locarno directors sidebar.

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