Get local news delivered straight to your phone

Support City Paper!

$
$
$

Your contribution is appreciated.

In 1969, Italian politics teemed with an unusually high number of unsavory characters: anarchists, CIA agents, fascist journalists, and partisans itchy for a Soviet invasion that would never come. That makes for a lot of intrigue, but it also amounts to a huge cast of mostly indistinguishable men in Piazza Fontana, a 2012 film about a major 1969 terrorist attack on a bank building in Milan. While it occasionally thrills, Piazza Fontana can make viewers as confused as the detectives on the case. Director Marco Tullio Giordana has to deal with a lot of unknowns: Despite several trials, including one as recently as 2005, no one has been found guilty of the bombing. That leaves his script wrestling with each piece of evidence: the motivations of fascist provocateurs hoping for a coup, the whereabouts of a set of missing timers, the discovery of a weapons cache in the forest. The film has at its center three characters: Giuseppe Pinelli, an anarchist who died mysteriously during an interrogation; Luigi Calabresi, the police commissioner pilloried by leftists for Pinelli’s death; and moderate Prime Minister Aldo Moro, still a decade removed from his 1978 kidnapping and murder at the hands of the Red Brigade, but nevertheless played with Christlike mournfulness. As the three honest men work their way to separate demises, the bombing’s perpetrators get away. In Piazza Fontana, as in the Piazza Fontana investigation, there aren’t any good answers.