N.P. IL SEGRETO (1973)
Article 4153 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Silvano Agosti
Featuring Francisco Rabal, Irene Papas, Edy Biagetti
What it is: Dystopian political science fiction
An industrialist (who is on the verge of implementing an industrial automation solution that eliminates all workers) is kidnapped and brainwashed, and then left to wander the streets with a blank mind.
I had to rely on the Phil Hardy Overlook guide on science fiction for the above plot description; since my copy of the movie is in unsubtitled Italian, I found it nearly impenetrable, even with the plot description for help. I think the movie consists of roughly three segments; the first features the main character’s abduction and brainwashing, the second has him wandering around the city as something of a homeless zombie, and the third has him becoming a worker and being politicized. Still, I do have trouble telling what is going on most of the time; I found myself wondering during the brainwashing sequence whether some of the events were really happening or all in the character’s mind. I can catch certain distinct moments; I know that one sequence involves a visit to an automated Catholic mass, and I have a certain sense of what’s going on at the end of the movie. But not being able to understand Italian is a huge setback here, and even if I did, I might find the rather distracted directorial style would have made the movie difficult even if I did understand the language. So I’m going to have to withhold judgment on this one, though I do suspect that the movie isn’t quite as satisfying as it might have been.