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7 Beauties: The Films of Lina Wertmüller

The Seduction of Mimi

Dir. Lina Wertmüller, Italy, 1972, DCP, 112 min., Italian w/English subtitles

Giancarlo Giannini gives a wonderfully comic performance as the sad sack Mimi, a Sicilian laborer whose refusal to vote for the Mafia candidate leads him to lose his job, his wife and his home. At rock bottom, he revives his spirits by falling in love with the beautiful, radical Fiorella (Mariangela Melato), with whom he starts a new life as a reliable husband and father. But the past comes back to haunt him, piling on comical complexities as he attempts to defend his honor. A blistering satire of Italy in the 1970s, The Seduction of Mimi takes aim at a corrupt government, compromised labor leaders and the Neanderthal sexual politics of men in power, with uproarious results.