The March on Rome
A documentary analysis of a surprisingly current masterpiece of fascist propaganda - the film that helped Mussolini rise to power a century ago.
Mark Cousins in another installment of the very personal history of cinema, exposes the patterns of fascist propaganda from a century ago and shows how many continue to be used by various kinds of populists. This time, the British artist takes a film showing the triumphant march of black shirts through Italy and Mussolini's entry into Rome. As always, Cousins masterfully juxtaposes archival fragments, providing them with critical commentary and references to the history of cinema. He exposes manipulations and shows how simple means are used to control the masses. He points out the creators such as Eisenstein or Riefenstahl, who referred to the analyzed film – and politicians who today are inspired by Mussolini. At the same time, his film is a tribute to Rome, full of urban flavors, monumental architecture and futuristic details.