1992

PrintE-mail Written by Nigel Watson

Italian politics and corruption seem to go together like spaghetti and meatballs, and it certainly makes for a great subject for a TV drama series. Hence, we get 1992, which looks back to when the Clean Hands (Mani Pulite) investigation tried to unravel the tentacles of corruption and in the process led to numerous long-reaching personal and political consequences.

At the very start we are treated to a caption that points out ‘All stories depicted in this work are entirely fictitious even if set in the context of real events.’ This is followed by a naked man examining and preparing himself, after getting out of bed in the morning, which we might symbolically regard as referring to the fact that this series will also look at the naked truth of the body of Italian politics of 1992. As the story progresses we learn that this man is Luca Pastore who is on the investigation team, and he examines himself every morning to see if he has any signs of HIV. This is a metaphor that compares his search for his own HIV with the need to search out the political HIV rampant in Italy.

This ten-part series, with English subtitles, tells the story through six different characters and plays out in Rome, Milan and other Italian cities. The characters include Leonardo Notte (Stefano Accorsi), an advertising man who warns his agency that they have to cope with the current depression of the economy after the excesses of the 1980s. Pietro Bosco (Guido Caprino) is a Gulf War veteran who is a beer drinking man-of-the-people who gets involved in the murky world of politics, in contrast to Veronica Castello (Miriam Leone), who wants fame and sees powerful tycoon Michele Mainaghi as her meal ticket. Beatrice ‘Bibi’ Mainaghi (Tea Falco) is the wayward daughter of Michele Mainaghi, and then there are Luca Pastore (Domenico Diele) and Rocco Venturi (Alessandro Roja) who work in Antonio Di Pietro’s corruption investigation team.

Based on an idea by Stefano Accorsi and created by Alessandro Fabbri, Ludovica Rampoldi, Stefano Sardo, this is a beautifully directed examination of corruption through the complex lives and traumas of the main characters. Reflecting these changing situations and characters the direction varies from hand-held documentary style, perfectly composed and dressed shots inspired by such series as Mad Men, to quite explicit sex scenes.

At the end of each episode, a selection of popular music of the period is played out to show the wider context of the fictional setting, and perhaps it might even make us think that the 1990s were as special in its own unique way as the previous decades that get all the media attention.

Whether you know anything about Italian politics of that period or not, you can still enjoy this crime/political drama with a mix of Mad Men and Dallas. It is the kind of box set that you want to watch from beginning to end in one sitting.

1992: SEASON 1 / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR: GIUSEPPE GAGLIARDI / STARRING:  STEFANO ACCORSI, GUIDO CAPRINO, DOMENICO DIELE, TEA FALCO, MIRIAM LEONE, ALESSANDRO ROJA / RELEASE DATE: OCTOBER 26TH

 


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