Benito Mussolini is editor-in-chief of the paper “Avanti!” when he meets Ida Dalser in Milan. Opposed to the monarchy and the Church, Mussolini is an ardent Socialist committed to stirring the crowds towards a future of social emancipation. Dalser had already seen him fleetingly in Trento where she remained struck by him.
Ida strongly believes in his ideas: Mussolini is her hero. For him, she sells everything she owns (her apartment, beauty salon, furniture, jewels) to finance “Il Popolo d’Italia”, a newspaper that will become the nucleus of the future Fascist Party.
When the First World War erupts, Benito Mussolini joins the Army and disappears from the woman’s life. When Ida finds him again, he lies in a hospital bed, tended to by Rachele whom he has just married in a civil ceremony. Furious, Ida lashes out at her rival vindicating her rights as Mussolini’s real wife and the mother of a son she has given him. She is led away by force.
Ida, a woman of explosive reactions, is unable to accept compromise. She is renounced, spied on, followed. But she won’t give up. She continues to protest, writing letters to everyone: the authorities, the newspapers, the Pope. She is eventually locked up in a mental hospital (her son is sent to an orphanage) and subjected to torture and physical constraint for more than eleven years. She will not see her son again. The same cancelled existence, the same desperate fate, awaits him as well.
Stefani Ade Santis
With the contribution of
DIREZIONE GENERALE PER IL CINEMA MINISTERO PER I BENI E LE ATTIVITA' CULTURALI, EURIMAGES, PROVINCIA AUTONOMA DI TRENTO, TRENTINO S.p.a., FILM COMMISSION TORINO PIEMONTE
In association with