NEWS Italian director Bellocchio to devote movie to Edgardo Mortara

By Pagine Ebraiche staff

Italian prominent director Marco Bellocchio will devote a movie to the story of Edgardo Mortara, the Jewish six-year-old kidnapped by the Church in 1858 and forced to convert to Christianity.

In an interview published by the Italian daily La Repubblica, Bellocchio explained that he decided to work on the project after learning that Steven Spielberg had given up the idea after years of preparations.

“The film will not be able to follow the whole life of Mortara, who died at the age of ninety. It will start with his kidnapping and end with the takeover of Porta Pia,” he said, referring to the conquest of Rome by Italy that marked the end of the Pope’s temporal power.

The director added that the issue of conversion, brutally forced upon such a young child, will be one of the core themes of the movie.

When asked if the film will raise a lot of discussion, Bellocchio said that “it is unavoidable.”