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Luzifer, purity, devil and exorcisms, between mother and son

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– LOCARNO, 11 AUG – There is a recurring question, ‘Where is the devil?’ in Luzifer by the Austrian Peter Brunner, the film, inspired by a true story, produced by a master in showing human, physical and moral frailties, such as Ulrich Seidl, which makes its debut in the international competition of the Locarno Film Festival, where it could win over some of the higher rewards. To flee from the devil is Maria (Susanne Jensen, in an amazing performance, in which she puts herself totally at stake, emotionally and physically), a mother devoted to God, after a past as an abused child and a young alcoholic woman who, in order to save herself and his son Johannes (the equally good Franz Rogowski, who is also the protagonist of the new film by Gabriele Mainetti, Freaks out) from temptation, has decided to isolate himself with him in an apparently pristine mountain landscape. The boy, now in his twenties, has not gone to school, has the mental faculties of a child and has as his only friend Arthur, the eagle he raised. The life of mother and son flows between prayers, devoted memories of the woman’s dead companion, who saved her, and corporal punishment, often self-inflicted, based above all on frozen water and sackcloth. An unreal world of delusional faith that risks being annihilated by some speculators interested in that part of the mountain.

An intrusion that annihilates the certainties of the two protagonists, brings out some devastating secrets and leads to an exorcism. To be credible “we listened to each other – explained Rogowski at the Festival – and then WITH a bit of ‘gentle aggression’ we put our daily needs aside. The director, Peter Brunner and Susanne Jensen helped me every day with an energy that inspired “. (HANDLE).

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