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The Mattei Affair
Directed by Francesco Rosi • 1972 • Italy
Starring Gian Maria Volontè, Luigi Squarzina, Peter Baldwin
Winner of the Palme d’Or at Cannes, Francesco Rosi’s gripping docufiction conspiracy puzzle unfolds in a complex flashback structure as it recounts the life and mysterious death of Enrico Mattei (brilliantly played by the great Gian Maria Volontè). One of postwar Italy’s most powerful and controversial figures, Mattei was the head of the state-owned energy company who championed domestic development and resisted the influence of the American oil monopoly—and whose death in a never-explained plane crash many believe was an assassination.