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Rome in 1959, just before the release of Fellini’s La dolce vita: the nobles of old and the arrivistes, the snobs and the beautiful people, the cinema and the bigots, the pseudo-intellectuals and the artists. And Giada Rovi-Sanlupi, the moody, unconventional daughter of a papal aristocrat. And Germaine Kenneth, the sophisticated bisexual Shakespearian English actress evocative of Canova’s Venus Victrix. And the pushy, promiscuous showjumper Bea Alemanni. All come together in a psychological piece of fiction where the mal marié Cristiano Belisario, its ‘internal focalizer’, has completed a film dramatization of Pauline Bonaparte’s life only to discover that his individual freedom, both as an ambitious screenwriter and as a passionate man, is like the large looking glass of a small drawing room: it merely gives an illusion of space.

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