Fifty years on, Bernardo Bertolucci’s portrait of fascism is still chilling

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BORN IN 1941, Bernardo Bertolucci grew up amid the cultural renaissance of post-war Italy. The years of fascist rule were over; in cinema neorealism became eminent, while Italian chic was taking over the world of fashion. Bernardo’s father, Attilio Bertolucci, was a famous poet and film critic; Bernardo began writing aged 15 with a view to pursuing a career in poetry. It was at the University of Rome—and thanks to Attilio’s connections—that he was introduced to film-making. He worked as an assistant to Pier Paolo Pasolini, a neorealist director, and

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