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|This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the Spanish Wikipedia. (August 2010)|
|Benito (English), Il Giovane Mussolini (Italian)|
|Directed by||Gianluigi Calderone|
|Written by||Vincenzo Cerami,
|Distributed by||Lions Gate Entertainment|
|Running time||307 minutes|
Benito (Il Giovane Mussolini in Italian) is an Italian TV film regarding the story of Benito Mussolini's early rise to power in the Socialist International and his relationship with Angelica Balabanoff. It was made in 1993 by RTVE of Spain, Rai Due of Italy, Microfilm, and the Kirch Company. It stars Antonio Banderas as Mussolini.
The movie starts off with Mussolini arriving in a small town in 1901 and getting a job as a school teacher; he is subsequently fired for having sex with the headmaster's daughter. This would be a common theme throughout the movie. After giving up on teaching, he works as a builder on the new University of Geneva campus building, and where a lover persuades him to become a student. This is also where he organizes his first protest after the death of a worker he knew. For this, he is nearly deported but is saved by Angelica's intervention. After getting run out of then-Austro-Hungarian Trieste, he goes back to his hometown of Forlì, where he marries Rachele. Soon he is at the forefront of the Socialist movement when he becomes the editor-in-chief of Avanti!. At this point Mussolini unites the "reds," the Socialists, with the "yellows," the Republicans in an anti-war movement. This marks the peak of his power, with the Italian left-wing politics under his control. However, he gradually loses his anti-war fervor and splits from the Socialist party altogether, turning all his allies into enemies.
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