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Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion

Thu 17 April 2014 // 20:00

Thurs 17th April, 8pm / £5/4
Dir: Elio Petri, Italy, 1970, 112 mins, Cert  18

Occasional Cube strand Lucky Dip: Gifts of the Lost and Lesser Known excitedly resurrects itself tonight to bring you this remarkable forgotten gem from the fantastic Elio Petri.  In this devious and playful thriller, a powerful Roman police inspector (Gian Maria Volonté) murders his mistress, leaving behind a trail of glaringly incriminating clues, but will he be suspected? What follows is a Kafkaesque tale of surreal bureaucracy and disturbingly plausible political satire, expertly maintaining a tricky balance between absurdity and realism. On top of this, the film looks beautifully stylish in every way you might imagine for an Italian film made at the end of the Sixties.

One of the great unsung Italian directors of the 60s and 70s, Petri’s name should be up there with the greats, but somehow his international reputation has faded in the years since this underseen and unjustly neglected classic won an Academy award for best foreign language feature back in 1970.

Times change, but at its core ‘Investigation’ remains as prescient now as it did back then, only perhaps more so in a world where grotesque abuses of power have become a grudgingly accepted commonplace. A beautifully rendered allegory for our times from a decade long past.

Look out for a second rare Petri dish next Friday, with the Hellfire Video Club screening of his wild paranoid thriller, ‘A Quiet Place in the Country’ (1969)