Berlinguer, I Love You

Berlinguer ti voglio bene (internationally released as Berlinguer, I Love You) is a 1977 Italian comedy film written and directed by Giuseppe Bertolucci. It is the debut film of both Bertolucci and Roberto Benigni.

Berlinguer, I Love You
Directed byGiuseppe Bertolucci
Produced byGianni Minervini
Antonio Avati
Written byGiuseppe Bertolucci
Roberto Benigni
StarringRoberto Benigni
Alida Valli
Carlo Monni
Music byPier Luigi Farri
CinematographyRenato Tafuri
Edited byGabriella Cristiani
Distributed byEuro International Film
Release date
Running time
90 min

It is based on the stage play Cioni Mario di Gaspare fu Giulia, that the same Bertolucci wrote and directed in 1975 and in which Benigni played the character of Mario Cioni, a character he later resumed in the variety television Onda libera.[1][2] The title quotes Cioni's declaration of love for Enrico Berlinguer, then leader of the Italian Communist Party.


Mario is a guy of the underclass of Tuscany, who lives without doing anything in his life. His friends make him jokes, while Mario lives in the myth of Enrico Berlinguer, trusting into indifference. Mario is very attached to his mother, because he has the Oedipus complex, and when he loses a game of poker with a friend, this tells Mario about having sex with his mother: this is the penalty cause of the game. Mario is disgusted, but gradually he falls in love with his mother, who however rejects him and prefers to go to bed exactly with the friend who offered to Mario the cruel bet. So Mario finds his friend as a stepfather.



  1. Eva Marinai; Sara Poeta; Igor Vazzaz. Comicità negli anni Settanta. ETS, 2005.
  2. Franco Montini. Una Generazione in cinema: esordi ed esordienti italiani, 1975–1988. Marsilio, 1988.

Linda Brodo, Stefano Brugnolo, Modernity degraded of the peripheries: an analysis of «Berlinguer, ti voglio bene», in "Intersezioni" 3/2014, pp. 473–498, Il Mulino.

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