Introduction from Marco Bechis' last movie, realized with LUCE Archive original footage, about propaganda around the figure of the dictator. _ www.imdb.com _ Edited by Marco Bechis and Iacopo Patierno Assistant Director: Giovannella Rendi and Filippo Ceredi Every charismatic leader strategically plans to gain popularity by taking obsessive care of his own public image. He does so by exploiting the media power and the technologies available over different historical times. Benito Mussolini, the Italian "Duce", caught the great opportunity offered him by the most powerful, popular and beloved medium of the 20th century: the newly-born cinema. Guessing its potential, he founded the Istituto Luce in order to spread his own personality cult and create a "new man" in his own image, the secret dream of every dictatorship. Mussolini's propaganda experiment can be therefore considered as paradigmatic. The documentary film "The Smile of the Leader" is pure editing, based on the Istituto Luce Archive records. It is made exclusively out of the original audio --visual footage, every music of the soundtrack included. The most known clips about War are not included on purpose. The focus is on those records which are less-know and yet the most impressive and persuasive. The aim of the film is to show the mechanisms of consensus building, as main instrument of Populism; how the regime educated boys and girls to grow up as good fascist citizens; how a nation living in extreme poverty was ...

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