Jessica Kiang Italy city Rome film beautiful stars Jessica Kiang Italy city Rome

‘The Catholic School’ Review: A Dubiously Handsome Re-creation of a Hideous True Crime

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Jessica Kiang “After that summer, nothing would be the same,” says Edo (Emanuele Maria Di Stefano), the narrator of “The Catholic School,” Stefano Mordini’s worryingly watchable, stylistically polished account of the lead-up to the tawdry and brutal real-life incident known to Italians as the Circeo Massacre.

It is a curiously light beginning for a film that will end in an upsettingly extended sequence of torture and sexual violence, and it points to the queasy contradiction Mordini never resolves, between the painstakingly re-created, rueful coming-of-ager his film mostly is, and the unflinchingly ghoulish true-crime sadism-horror it suddenly becomes.It is Rome in 1975, and Edo, along with the sons of half of Rome’s wealthy, untouchable.

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