Caught in between: Profanation and Re-Sacralization in Marco Bellocchio’s Nel nome del padre (1971)

Angeli, S. 2018. Caught in between: Profanation and Re-Sacralization in Marco Bellocchio’s Nel nome del padre (1971). Religions. 9 (9) 252. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9090252

TitleCaught in between: Profanation and Re-Sacralization in Marco Bellocchio’s Nel nome del padre (1971)
TypeJournal article
AuthorsAngeli, S.
Abstract

This article assesses the coexistence of the practices of profanation and re-sacralization in one of Marco Bellocchio’s most understudied films: Nel nome del padre (In the Name of the Father, 1971). Indeed, such practices rarely situate themselves at opposite ends of the spectrum but rather are integrated within other works by the same director, and even within the same film. By providing a content and stylistic analysis of episodes of profanation and re-sacralization, this article highlights how Bellocchio profanes traditional Roman Catholic elements through the employment of parody and satire as well as how he re-sacralizes unorthodox characters and situations using narrative, symbolism, and iconography. This integration allows him to deliver his criticism of pre-conciliar Roman Catholicism (its folk manifestations at grassroots level, empty rituals, and sexuophobic education), on the one hand, and identify possible alternatives, characterized by a more progressive, tolerant, and forgiving religious sentiment, on the other. What emerges is Bellocchio’s essentially ambivalent attitude toward religion, characterized by the simultaneous and apparently contradictory need for both more and less Catholicism.

KeywordsItalian cinema; Roman Catholicism; religion and film; Marco Bellocchio; Nel nome del padre (1971)
Article number252
JournalReligions
Journal citation9 (9)
ISSN2077-1444
Year2018
PublisherMDPI
Publisher's version
License
CC BY 4.0
File Access Level
Open (open metadata and files)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9090252
Web address (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/rel9090252
Publication dates
Published24 Aug 2018

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