Bernardo Bertolucci’s pro-Marxist epic 1900 is quite the disappointment. Despite being a fan of Bertolucci and his perverse commie films, 1900 could quite possibly be the biggest failure of the Italian director’s long and for the most part successful career. The film stars two international (not Italian) heavyweights Robert De Niro and Gerard Depardieu. These two actors play childhood friends who later become enemies due to their obvious class differences.
Bertolucci seemed to only have two focuses when directing 1900 that ultimately destroyed this mess of an “Epic.” First, Bertolucci focuses on the sexual differences between the “honorable” proletarian and the “cowardly” capitalist. The proletarian (poor worker) seems born to screw as shown by Bertolucci’s emphasis on a young worker’s sexuality (that borders on child pornography). The capitalist child is sexually inferior and shows great admiration for his proletarian friend’s sexual potency. Like many communist fetishists, Bertolucci seems most interested in analyzing the sexual differences between both social classes. The second focus of 1900 ties in with the first focus. The proletarian is portrayed as honorable, strong, and stoic. As you can expect, the capitalist is portrayed as cowardly, weak, depressed, and self-loathing.
Many of the actors featured in 1900 lack chemistry with one another. I assume that Bernardo Bertolucci casted De Niro and Depardieu due to their international statuses. I just see it as sacrilegious of Bertolucci to not cast real Italians in the lead roles. The two leaders aren’t really believable as “best friends” from different classes. The closest they seem to get is when De Niro touches Depardieu’s genitals as they both attempt to share a lady.
I found Donald Sutherland’s role as Atilla the sadistic Italian fascist to be the most powerful performance. This blue eyed and blond haired devil finds enjoyment in breaking a child’s skull open against a wall. Atilla is portrayed in a way that would even make Steven Spielberg’s caricatures of “Nazis” look tame. For some insane reason, Bernardo Bertolucci (like most Marxist and Marxist sympathizers) believes communists to be heroes. The facts have proven that the number of people Marxists have killed make fascists look tame in comparison. Bertolucci’s Freudian projection (portraying fascists as killers and proletarians as peaceful) of sorts is obvious as his sexual perversity. I am sure Bertolucci has dreams of raping young fascists with his “revolutionary” hero Leon Trotsky.
In one of the proletarians most honorable moments, they cover Atilla in horse feces. These dirty poor proletarians have no problem rubbing a wild animal’s rectum in hope of filling their hands with shit to be thrown to a mean ol’ fascist. Bernardo Bertolucci has made it clear that fecal felons are the most honorable of antifascist heroes. As you can expect, Atilla takes revenge in the form of bullets and proletarian death.
The moral of 1900: do not make a five hour epic focusing on just two personal obsessions. Anyone that has seen a film by Bernardo Bertolucci knows that the director loves bizarre sexual situations and poor communists. Devoting an epic to those two things just isn’t going to work. It took me a couple of weeks to finish 1900 and it felt like I watched a television mini-series that went on way longer than it should have.