While young Fabrizio (Francesco Barilli) struggles with his commitment to the Communist Party his emotional life grows ever more complex. Breaking away from his planned marriage to Clelia (Cristina Pariset), a perfect bourgeoise, he embarks on an affair with his neurotic aunt Gina (Adriana Asti), who is visiting from Milan. With extraordinary skill and honesty Bertolucci explores the emotional and political conflicts of Fabrizio, his alter-ego.
A rarely-seen early work from one of World Cinema's most acclaimed directors, Bernardo Bertolucci's beautifully operatic film Before the Revolution / Prima della rivoluzione – made when he was just 22 – celebrates the passions and ideology of the 1960s. Part autobiography, part homage to the French new-wave and Italian neo-realists that inspired him, Bertolucci's second film is an atmospheric, ambiguous portrait of idealistic youth, which won the Cannes Critics' Week Prize in 1964.
Before the Revolution will be given a dual format release (containing both DVD and Blu-ray versions of the film) by the BFI on 22nd August 2011 at the RRP of £22.99.
The special features are:
- On-set footage (1963, 4 mins, DVD only): extract from Italian TV series Cinema d'oggi featuring an interview with the young Bertolucci;
- Interview with Bernardo Bertolucci (Giuseppe Bertolucci, 2003, 46 mins, DVD only): the director discusses Before the Revolution;
- Interviews with Roberto Perpignani, Vittorio Storaro and Ennio Morricone (Giuseppe Bertolucci, 2003, 26 mins, DVD only);
- Working Copy (Giuseppe Bertolucci, 2003, 31 mins, DVD only): comparisons between the working and final versions of the film;
- Bernardo Bertolucci in conversation with David Thompson (2011, 12 mins, DVD only): Q&A recorded at BFI Southbank;
- 22-page illustrated booklet with notes and essays.