Francesco's wife (Jacopo's mother), Marina Nani, then refused to relinquish her husband's body to the State for burial, saying that the same State that had inflicted such injustices upon her family could not properly bury her husband, and that she would pay for the funeral herself, even if she had to sell herself to do so. The Council of 10 forced her to turn over the body and gave it the largest state burial in Venetian history.
This is a story full of love, passion, political intrigue, courtroom drama, murder, despair ... in short, a historical epic soap-opera that would make a great movie -- ergo, it was, and this is it! Of course, the story is probably better known for having also been made into the opera of the same name, by Giuseppe Verdi. Rossano, who would have been about 26 years old at the time, played the hot-headed, passionate Jacopo, who may have, in fact, been an unwitting victim of political factions operating against his father -- there have always been passionate debates among Italian historians about this episode. Well, then again, when haven't there been passionate debates among Italian historians?Synopsis/Review
While this is the historical episode the movie covers, the plot has been greatly condensed, revised, shortened and rewritten, presumably for the sake of cinematic brevity. Rossano, as the young Jacopo, is never banished, but jailed; he manages to escape from his prison cell and clear his name, and, once vindicated, returns home to find that his father has died of grief and exhaustion. In other words, if you're a stickler for historic accuracy, this film will raise your blood pressure a good notch or so! On the other hand, if you can overlook the historical inaccuracies for the sake of Rossano, diving in desparation out of his prison window in his 15th century skiivies, swimming under Il ponte di sospiri ("The Bridge of Sighs"), and down the canal, to arrive at his mistress's home drenched and dripping and looking like he's wearing a 1942 version of spandex bicycle shorts -- you'll enjoy this one. Of course, the real Jacopo never did that, but the real Jacopo wasn't Rossano Brazzi, either.Notes
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